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Moderated Forums => Faith Issues => Topic started by: Tamara on April 02, 2007, 07:20:07 PM

Title: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 02, 2007, 07:20:07 PM
Dear Fathers, Parish Faithful & Friends in Christ,

Over the centuries a particular theory developed in the West as to why Christ had to die on the Cross for our salvation. It is now often referred to as the penal satisfaction theory, and it is traced back to St. Anselm of Canterbury (11th c.). As an early scholastic theologian, Anselm was trying to rationally explain the mystery of our redemption in Christ. The Orthodox theologian, Vladimir Lossky, critical of this theory, describes it thus in speaking of Anselm:

In his work Christian horizons are limited by the drama played between God, who is infinitely
offended by sin, and man, who is unable to satify the impossible demands of vindictive justice.
The drama finds its resolution in the death of Christ, the Son of God, who has become man in
order to substitute Himself for us and to pay our debt to divine justice.

This was later further distorted by many of the Protestant refomers who claimed that God was angry with us and that Christ had to "appease" or "propitiate" Him by His blood. Hence, Jonathon Edward's "sinners in the hands of an angry God." The rich imagery of the Scriptures is unfortunately narrowed down to a very legalistic understanding of redemption in Christ. As Lossky further probes this theory, he reveals its many shortcomings:

What becomes of the dispensation of the Holy Spirit here? His part is reduced to that of an
auxillary, an assistant in redemption, causing us to receive Christ's expiating merit. The final
goal of our union with God is, if not excluded altogether, at least shut out from our sight by
the stern vault of a theological conception built on the ideas of original guilt and its reparation.

There are further "casualties" in this narrowly-focused atonement theory, according to Lossky:

The price of our redemption having been paid in the death of Christ, the resurrection and the
ascension are only a glorious happy end of His work, a kind of apotheosis without direct
relationship to our human destiny. This redemptionist theology, placing all the emphasis
on the passion, seems to take no interest in the triumph of Christ over death. The very
work of the Christ-Redeemer, to which this theology is confined, seems to be truncated,
impoverished, reduced to a change of the divine attitude toward fallen men, unrelated to the
nature of humanity.

Too great a price to pay for a rationalistic theology! Only now, are both Roman Catholic and Protestants taking a serious and critical look at this particular theory of atonement.

The early Church, following the Scriptures, emphasized the victory of Christ over sin, death and the devil in His Cross and Resurrection. He truly "trampled down death by death." The Church Fathers, beginning with St. Irenaeus of Lyons, were very expressive in their formulation of this aspect of our redemption. So you will not find the "satisfaction theory" in their writings. The language of Scripture is meant to provide a series of images and metaphors that help us understand our redemption in Christ without falling prey to a narrowly-focused rationalism or legalism. "Justification," "salvation," "atonement," "expiation," "ransom," "reconciliation," "sanctification," "glorification," "freedom" - these are the many terms borrowed from both the Old Testament and from the Graeco-Roman world to convey the great "mystery of piety." These images are the many sides of a beautiful diamond that must be viewed from different angles for its true beauty and brilliance to be appreciated.

Ransom is another term that can be misapplied if one is overly-literalistic, or again legalistic, in its application. The following passage from St. Gregory the Theologian is probably the "classic" Orthodox response to any misunderstanding about the use of "ransom" language when referring to the death of Christ. This passage demands a very careful reading, if not multiple readings, to draw out the rich insights of St. Gregory. Basically, he is making it clear that the "ransom" offered by Christ was "paid" neither to the devil nor to God the Father:

We must now consider a problem and a doctrine ofter passed over in silently, which, in my view,
nevertheless needs deep study. The blood shed for us, the most precious and glorious blood of
God, the blood of the Sacrificer and the Sacrifice - why was it shed and to whom was it offered?
We were under the reign of the devil, sold to sin, after we had gained corruption on account of
our sinful desire. If the price of our ransom is paid to him who has us in his power, I ask myself:
Why is such a price to be paid? If it is given to the devil, it is outrageous! The brigand receives
the price of redemption. Not only does he receive it from God, he receives God Himself. For his
violence he demands such a disproportionate ransom that it would be more just for him to set us
free without ransom. But if to the Father, why should that be done? It is not the Father who has
held us as His captives. Morever, why should the blood of His only Son be acceptable to the
Father, who did not wish to accept Isaac, when Abraham offered Him his son as a burnt-offering,
but replaced the human sacrifice with the sacrifice of a ram? Is it not evident that the Father
accepts the sacrifice not becaue He demanded it or had any need for it but by His dispensation?
It was necessary that man should be sanctified by the humanity of God; it was necessary that
He Himself should free us, triumphing over the tyrant by His own strength, and that He should
recall us to Himself by His Son who is the Mediator, who does all for the honor of the Father, to
whom He is obedient in all things. Let the rest of the mystery be venerated silently.

Lossky comments on this passage, thus:

What emerges from the passage we have just quoted is that, for St. Gregory, the idea
of redemption, far from implying the idea of a necessity imposed by vindictive justice, is
rather an expression of the dispensation, whose mystery cannot be adequately
clarified in a series of rational concepts.

The key concept here is the "dispensation" or "divine economy" (from the Gk. oikonomia or God's "household management"). The Son of God must offer His life as a sacrifice in fulfilment of the Father's will, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in order for God's design or saving plan for us to be realized - the abolition of the power of sin and death over us. This is powerfully stated in the Epistle to the Hebrews:

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise
shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death,
that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject
to bondage. (HEB. 2:14-15)


We are not sinners in the hands of an angry God, but sinners in the hands of a loving God: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son ... (JN. 3:16) Yet, there is not a drop of sentimentality in this divine love for us. As St. Paul says: "For you were bought at a price," meaning the "cost" to God in willing His Son to die on our behalf. God's saving dispensation includes not only our forgivess of sins, but also our glorification with Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven. That is why we never really separate the Cross from the Resurrection and Ascension. There is one unified paschal mystery. Christ is vanquishing sin and death on the Cross: "I call Him King, because I see Him crucified" says St. John Chrysostom. Of course, our sins are forgiven on the Cross because God desired them to be wiped out. That is the true meaning of Christ as our "expiation." The Cross is the "Mercy Seat" (Gk. hilasterion) on which are sins are wiped away by God, thus revealing His righteousness by restoring us by His faifhfulness to His covenental love.

We know that we are "saved" by the death and resurrection of Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have been "ransomed" back from slavery to sin and death, because He "paid the price" on our behalf. This fulfilled the love of God for us, and did satisfy a non-existent "wrath" that needed to be appeased. We accept this in faith, without trying to overly penetrate the "mystery of piety." Let us venerate the mystery in silence as St. Gregory teaches us.



Fr. Steven C. Kostoff
Christ the Savior/Holy Spirit Orthodox Church
http://www.christthesavioroca.org



Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 02, 2007, 09:02:46 PM
Quote
So you will not find the "satisfaction theory" in their writings.

Yes you will.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 02, 2007, 09:45:38 PM
Yes you will.


Fr. Steven Kostoff is not a convert. I know you are a fan of Ephrem Bensusan and his writings. I am not.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 02, 2007, 09:56:30 PM
It has nothing to do with being a convert, though this type of Anti-Western Orthodoxy is often something they latch on to.  One can read the Eastern Fathers (I'm attaching a Word doc with some quotes since something seems to be limiting posts) and see that the satisfaction of divine justice, substitution and propitiation are completely legitimate views of the Atonement.

The odd thing is the Anti-Western Orthodox take on this doesn't actually sound like the views of the church fathers, it sounds more like the views of modern day liberal Protestant theologians who have tossed a lot of their traditional belief in favor of the "God is just love so he couldn't have been about any of this".  There is some irony there, considering the issue is with "western theology".

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on April 02, 2007, 10:10:59 PM
I, for one, am glad that the (as far as i'm concerned) narrow-minded emphasis portrayed in the OP has not infiltrated the OO Church.

Just for your information, it was only last week that His Eminence Bishop Stylianos (GO) expressed his staunch opposition to the position Fr. Romanides and Co. have taken against St. Augustine because of the alleged "heretical" corollaries that allegedly flow from his anthropology and soteriology. I didn't have time to discuss the issue further with him in order to seek clarification, but I plan to do so once class resumes in 2 weeks.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 02, 2007, 10:26:26 PM
It has nothing to do with being a convert, though this type of Anti-Western Orthodoxy is often something they latch on to.  One can read the Eastern Fathers (I'm attaching a Word doc with some quotes since something seems to be limiting posts) and see that the satisfaction of divine justice, substitution and propitiation are completely legitimate views of the Atonement.

The odd thing is the Anti-Western Orthodox take on this doesn't actually sound like the views of the church fathers, it sounds more like the views of modern day liberal Protestant theologians who have tossed a lot of their traditional belief in favor of the "God is just love so he couldn't have been about any of this".  There is some irony there, considering the issue is with "western theology".



You are quoting Ephrem Bensusan. I know where you get your stuff. He is not an Orthodox theological trained fellow. He is the Protestant. He does alot of proof-texting of the fathers to prove his point. And his quoting from Roman Catholic catechisms are not helpful because Roman Catholics in this country have updated their cathchism. The Vatican's view of original sin will not change and has not changed according to a friend of mine who studied to be a Roman Catholic priest.
He is now an Orthodox Christian. He said Ephrem's writings are very Protestant.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 02, 2007, 10:33:00 PM
The quotes are from the church fathers, and they speak for themselves, no matter who has compiled them.  In this case I pulled them off two Orthodox blogs by searching in google.  Disagree or agree with them, they are there, and there are many others.

EkhristosAnesti, there is unfortunately a deeply revisionist strain of thought that has taken hold among many Anti-Western Orthodox.  The Romanides/Kalomiros stuff is one example, and it has been picked up by the convert literature cottage industry here in the United States.

It's very sad.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 02, 2007, 10:40:45 PM
I'm going to post this once and then continue next week, since this is a topic that greatly interests me and puts me into a longing position to try to understand St. Augustine without all the anti-Western bias.

When people think "penal system" they think of Anselm.  There are two things in Anselm that I find that I so far cannot find in St. Augustine:

1.  The concept of an "infinite" sin
2.  The concept of "robbing" God's glory

These two concepts to me are troublesome, since it undermines certain ontological beliefs.  However, all other concepts against the penal system I don't find unorthodox, things like "appeasing the wrath of God," or "ransom."  Even the author you post admits that these languages are found in the Eastern fathers and the OT, but they did not proceed to explain them, but rather taking them in an allegorical sense.  "Appeasing the wrath of God" simply could be the allegory to the destruction of sin that so burns us in our relationship with God, and this allegory should not undermine the "Loving Fire of God."  The "ransom" is Christ's substitution on behalf of all mankind, turning curse into blessing.  Taking this allegory further, we can see the Orthodox beliefs of theosis being born clearly, showing that Christ came as man to give us what is His, that we may be glorified in Him.

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 02, 2007, 10:48:30 PM
Demetry, Rev. Constas, D.D. Catechism of the Eastern Orthodox Church, With Most Essential Differences of Other Principal Churches Scripturally Criticized. Approved by the Holy Synod, 1929. N.p., 1935. -- http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/catechis.html  Look for the section "ON THE ATONEMENT OR PROPITIATORY SACRIFICE"
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 02, 2007, 11:45:33 PM
The quotes are from the church fathers, and they speak for themselves, no matter who has compiled them.  In this case I pulled them off two Orthodox blogs by searching in google.  Disagree or agree with them, they are there, and there are many others.


No they do not speak for themselves. The writings of the Fathers are vast. Not all of the writings of the Fathers have been translated. People have used the writings of the Fathers through proof-texting to prove all sorts of pet beliefs. Mistranslations and misunderstanding of the writings of the Fathers are numerous. Anyone who claims to speak for the 'Fathers' ought to be reminded that it would take years and years of Greek studies just to become technically proficient enough to begin a decade long process of reading the writings of the Fathers collected by the Church. Then, you would have to find the time to discuss each reading with others to discern what writings accurately reflect the phronema of the Church and which ones do not, as no one is perfect save God Himself.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 02, 2007, 11:47:08 PM
I have stated this before and it makes alot of people mad, but the Orthodox criticisms of Anselm are of a straw man version created in their own imaginations.

With all due respect, Anti-Augustine Orthodox theologians just make themselves sound stupid when they get going on this topic. The jump from Anslem directly to Jonathan Edwards is ludicrous. Furthemore, most Orthodox barely know the Edwards sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, except from 10th grade American literature. When I was a protestant I read roughly half of the collected works of Edwards and his primary estimation of the Christian life was the sweetness of knowing Christ.

In hyper Calvinism, a penal, legalistic understanding of the atonement, and that understanding only, can indeed be a problem. But most protestants, and few Roman Catholics ONLY hold that understanding. It is apart of their understanding and perhaps the primary lense they view the atonement through. But they also grasp Christ's victory over sin and death, the ransoming of sinners from the bondage of satan, the sacrificial gift of unconditional love.

Anti-Augustine Orthodox have to come to grips with the suffering servant images in scripture (in fact, Isaiah 53 is a perfect blending of the the victory over sin and death/punishment for our sins motiffs: he has borne our griefs; he was wounded for our transgressions; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; he was bruised for our iniquities; by his stripes we are healed; the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all; for the transgression of my people he was stricken; it pleased the Lord to bruise him). The Anselmian view is a credible attempt to understand such punitive language.  The victory/ramsom view embraces the healing/bearing language.

And then there is the epistle to the Romans (see 3:23-26; 5:6-10), or I Corinthians (God made him who knew no sin to be sin that we might become the righteousness of God - substitution); or in Galatians 3:13- Christ became a curse for us; delivering us from the curse of the law). It is clear that Some price was paid for something and it appears to be our sins!

Furthermore, the whole sacrificial system of the Old Testament points to the eventual coming of the one perfect sacrifice to pay for sins. For it to be argued that Christ's death was in no sense connected to the legal theory of the law and its transgression and the payment for sin in ancient Judaism, runs agains the entire grain of the New Testament, where Christ is the lamb that is slain. He is Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 03, 2007, 12:30:11 AM
I have stated this before and it makes alot of people mad, but the Orthodox criticisms of Anselm are of a straw man version created in their own imaginations.

With all due respect, Anti-Augustine Orthodox theologians just make themselves sound stupid when they get going on this topic. The jump from Anslem directly to Jonathan Edwards is ludicrous. Furthemore, most Orthodox barely know the Edwards sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, except from 10th grade American literature. When I was a protestant I read roughly half of the collected works of Edwards and his primary estimation of the Christian life was the sweetness of knowing Christ.

In hyper Calvinism, a penal, legalistic understanding of the atonement, and that understanding only, can indeed be a problem. But most protestants, and few Roman Catholics ONLY hold that understanding. It is apart of their understanding and perhaps the primary lense they view the atonement through. But they also grasp Christ's victory over sin and death, the ransoming of sinners from the bondage of satan, the sacrificial gift of unconditional love.

Anti-Augustine Orthodox have to come to grips with the suffering servant images in scripture (in fact, Isaiah 53 is a perfect blending of the the victory over sin and death/punishment for our sins motiffs: he has borne our griefs; he was wounded for our transgressions; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; he was bruised for our iniquities; by his stripes we are healed; the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all; for the transgression of my people he was stricken; it pleased the Lord to bruise him). The Anselmian view is a credible attempt to understand such punitive language.  The victory/ramsom view embraces the healing/bearing language.

And then there is the epistle to the Romans (see 3:23-26; 5:6-10), or I Corinthians (God made him who knew no sin to be sin that we might become the righteousness of God - substitution); or in Galatians 3:13- Christ became a curse for us; delivering us from the curse of the law). It is clear that Some price was paid for something and it appears to be our sins!

Furthermore, the whole sacrificial system of the Old Testament points to the eventual coming of the one perfect sacrifice to pay for sins. For it to be argued that Christ's death was in no sense connected to the legal theory of the law and its transgression and the payment for sin in ancient Judaism, runs agains the entire grain of the New Testament, where Christ is the lamb that is slain. He is Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Brother Aidan,

My Orthodox friend, who was the former Catholic seminarian, grew up in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He shared with me that it is the most conservative Roman Catholic diocese in this country - he believes he received the traditional Latin teaching, and it's was all about inherited guilt, juridical/legalistic, passed-along by parents' sexual intercourse, washed away by baptism.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on April 03, 2007, 01:04:16 AM
The general root of all heresies is the attempt to resolve divine paradoxes.

If we claim to not even have an adequate grasp of God's attributes to the point of needing to explicate them by way of negation, then how can we dare claim the confidence to assert a positive contradiction between any two of them (Love vs. Wrath, Mercy vs. Justice) such as to feel the need to stress the contribution and place of one and deny the contirbution and place of the other to the mysterious gift of salvation?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 03, 2007, 01:22:13 AM
You are quoting Ephrem Bensusan. I know where you get your stuff. He is not an Orthodox theological trained fellow. He is the Protestant. He does alot of proof-texting of the fathers to prove his point.

Does not the author of the essay you posted do the same, of both Fathers and the Bible?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 03, 2007, 01:27:12 AM

In hyper Calvinism, a penal, legalistic understanding of the atonement, and that understanding only, can indeed be a problem. But most protestants, and few Roman Catholics ONLY hold that understanding. It is apart of their understanding and perhaps the primary lense they view the atonement through. But they also grasp Christ's victory over sin and death, the ransoming of sinners from the bondage of satan, the sacrificial gift of unconditional love.

Indeed, Catholicism accepts all these views. It's the Mystery of Faith---I don't think any one angle can explain it.

Quote
Furthermore, the whole sacrificial system of the Old Testament points to the eventual coming of the one perfect sacrifice to pay for sins. For it to be argued that Christ's death was in no sense connected to the legal theory of the law and its transgression and the payment for sin in ancient Judaism, runs agains the entire grain of the New Testament, where Christ is the lamb that is slain. He is Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Bingo. I never understood how an OT-NT prefiguring of such importance could be ignored.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 03, 2007, 01:35:33 AM
Brother Aidan,

My Orthodox friend, who was the former Catholic seminarian, grew up in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He shared with me that it is the most conservative Roman Catholic diocese in this country - he believes he received the traditional Latin teaching, and it's was all about inherited guilt, juridical/legalistic, passed-along by parents' sexual intercourse, washed away by baptism.

Would you accept the hearsay of a seminarian as the source of your understanding of Orthodox teaching on the Atonement, or would you consult the official teaching?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 03, 2007, 02:10:37 AM
Would you accept the hearsay of a seminarian as the source of your understanding of Orthodox teaching on the Atonement, or would you consult the official teaching?

What is the Vatican's official teaching of atonement? Not the American Roman Catholic version.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 03, 2007, 02:24:20 AM
Does not the author of the essay you posted do the same, of both Fathers and the Bible?

What the Orthodox priest has written is consistent with what I have been taught my whole life from bishops, priests and theologians. Many of them were from the middle east, some were of Russian origin, others were from Greece. It is only recently that I have read anything different from what I had been taught. Usually these new teachings are coming from poorly catechized converts.

The priest who is of Bulgarian descent, most likely received his education at one of our Orthodox seminaries. In the case of Ephrem Bensusan, he received his education at Whitefield Theological Seminary. Its website says, "Whitefield Theological Seminary. Providing quality Reformed education by distance-learning for over 25 years."
I will trust an Orthodox seminary education over a Protestant seminary education any day of the week. The Orthodox seminary education will be much closer to the concensus patrum of the Fathers.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 03, 2007, 09:21:22 AM
Quote
No they do not speak for themselves. The writings of the Fathers are vast. Not all of the writings of the Fathers have been translated. People have used the writings of the Fathers through proof-texting to prove all sorts of pet beliefs. Mistranslations and misunderstanding of the writings of the Fathers are numerous. Anyone who claims to speak for the 'Fathers' ought to be reminded that it would take years and years of Greek studies just to become technically proficient enough to begin a decade long process of reading the writings of the Fathers collected by the Church. Then, you would have to find the time to discuss each reading with others to discern what writings accurately reflect the phronema of the Church and which ones do not, as no one is perfect save God Himself.

Well, I guess we'll never be able to actually discuss anything then if that is the criteria we have for discussing these matters.  Somehow I feel these themes must be able to be understood by the humblest of laymen such as myself, otherwise we would be a cult of secret knowledge.

In the meantime the statements I posted by St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory Palamas and Nicholas Cabasilas certainly fly in the face of anyone who wants to claim that the satisfaction of divine justice, the propitiation for original sin and the voluntary substitutionary death of Christ are not part the understanding of the dogma of redemption and the general economy of salvation.  They are actually not only legitimate aspects of the Atonement, but when taken in light of the sayings of the church fathers and sacred scripture, they are rather necessary components of understanding the redemptive work of Christ.

Quote
The priest who is of Bulgarian descent, most likely received his education at one of our Orthodox seminaries. In the case of Ephrem Bensusan, he received his education at Whitefield Theological Seminary. Its website says, "Whitefield Theological Seminary. Providing quality Reformed education by distance-learning for over 25 years."

You're the only one talking about this Bensusan person whoever that is, so that really has no bearing on this.

Quote
I will trust an Orthodox seminary education over a Protestant seminary education any day of the week. The Orthodox seminary education will be much closer to the concensus patrum of the Fathers.

I will leave it to others to speculate on whether or not revisionist or novel teaching on matters such as this has entered any of the mainstream Orthodox seminaries such as St. Vladimir's.

BrotherAidan

Quote
I have stated this before and it makes alot of people mad, but the Orthodox criticisms of Anselm are of a straw man version created in their own imaginations.

Such is the case with the Kalomiros essay, it's part of the Anti-Western Orthodox school of buckshot theology.  Just put the words Catholic-Protestant-Atonement-Anselm-Augustine-Western together, and you know we as Orthodox have something we can rally around to attack and say "hey they believe this, so we believe something different", as if the best we can do is a negative affirmation of what somebody else believes.  All of course built on a strawman in the first place.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 03, 2007, 12:23:52 PM
Well, I guess we'll never be able to actually discuss anything then if that is the criteria we have for discussing these matters.  Somehow I feel these themes must be able to be understood by the humblest of laymen such as myself, otherwise we would be a cult of secret knowledge.

In the meantime the statements I posted by St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory Palamas and Nicholas Cabasilas certainly fly in the face of anyone who wants to claim that the satisfaction of divine justice, the propitiation for original sin and the voluntary substitutionary death of Christ are not part the understanding of the dogma of redemption and the general economy of salvation.  They are actually not only legitimate aspects of the Atonement, but when taken in light of the sayings of the church fathers and sacred scripture, they are rather necessary components of understanding the redemptive work of Christ.

You're the only one talking about this Bensusan person whoever that is, so that really has no bearing on this.

I will leave it to others to speculate on whether or not revisionist or novel teaching on matters such as this has entered any of the mainstream Orthodox seminaries such as St. Vladimir's.


St. Nicholas also rejected the tradition of the Church on the Uncreated Light. None of the saints of the Church are infallible.
From what I understand Lutherans who read him appreciate much of what he writes. This was the point I was trying to make about not taking a few quotes here and there from the fathers and constructing your own version of Orthodoxy.
You must go with consensus patrum. Our theology also lies within scriptures, iconography and hymnology. I realize that I, as an individual Orthodox Christian, cannot piecemeal quotes from the fathers here and there make it up as I go. There must be a consistency of thought throughout our whole tradition in regard to our beliefs.

I read one of your posts a few weeks ago where you recommended posters to check out Ephrem Bensusan's blog and you posted the address to his blog. I believe the discussion had to do with original sin. Anyway, you were in agreement with what he had written. I checked his site and realized you have been promoting many of his thoughts here.

And what Orthodox seminaries do you deem to be truly Orthodox? Wow! How long have you been in the Orthodox Church to make such an implication?  Interesting.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Kreator on April 03, 2007, 12:39:10 PM


    As Christ was being arrested, tortured and crucified, he took upon himself the sins of all the people in the world who were willing to repent. When he surrendered his spirit, he went in hell to punish those who did not want to repent.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 03, 2007, 01:14:01 PM
Quote
St. Nicholas also rejected the tradition of the Church on the Uncreated Light. None of the saints of the Church are infallible.

Certainly not, but by the same token there is a wide corpus of writings I think to show the modern interpretations of the Atonement are not exactly reflective of the overall tradition of the church.

Quote
From what I understand Lutherans who read him appreciate much of what he writes. This was the point I was trying to make about not taking a few quotes here and there from the fathers and constructing your own version of Orthodoxy.
You must go with consensus patrum. Our theology also lies within scriptures, iconography and hymnology. I realize that I, as an individual Orthodox Christian, cannot piecemeal quotes from the fathers here and there make it up as I go. There must be a consistency of thought throughout our whole tradition in regard to our beliefs.

Yet, in the modern interpretation of the Atonement, it is consistency that appears to be lacking.

Quote
I read one of your posts a few weeks ago where you recommended posters to check out Ephrem Bensusan's blog and you posted the address to his blog. I believe the discussion had to do with original sin. Anyway, you were in agreement with what he had written. I checked his site and realized you have been promoting many of his thoughts here.

Okay, the name didn't ring a bell.  I believe this person had put a site together that had an extensive list of church father quotes and statements from Orthodox Catechisms that showed that what is now often presented as the Orthodox view is not necessarily what the church has historically taught.  It appears to be offline now.  Either way, I'm not saying this individual is what I'm putting stock in, it's the writings that were referenced.

Quote
And what Orthodox seminaries do you deem to be truly Orthodox?

I have no idea, which is why I said I would leave it to others to speculate.  I gather there are different camps in the church though, and that some view for instance St. Vladimir's and St. Sergius to be not to their liking for various reasons.  That doesn't seem to me to be an extrsaordinary statement.

Quote
Wow! How long have you been in the Orthodox Church to make such an implication?  Interesting.

Well I made no real implication.

Regarding my status - the first divine liturgy I attended was in 1990 in the United States, which was after a visit to the Soviet Union a few years before which was my first contact with Orthodoxy.  I considered the church at the time, went back and forth for a while, but always kept it on my radar so to speak.  I began regular weekly attendance at an Orthodox church at the end of 2003, was a catechumen for a year and this summer will be two years having officially entered the church.

Would you say my status as a convert undercuts my ability to speak in this matter (or at least undermines my credibility)?  That is an implication you seem to be making.  I would not argue with you if you said this was the case, as it is my opinion based on what I have seen from Orthodox converts that they indeed get many, many things wrong.

Hopefully in the case of this discussion I can be absolved somewhat, since it isn't my opinion that I've put forward in the matter.  My goal was to reference the relevant patristic and cathetical writings.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 03, 2007, 02:36:10 PM
Certainly not, but by the same token there is a wide corpus of writings I think to show the modern interpretations of the Atonement are not exactly reflective of the overall tradition of the church.

Yet, in the modern interpretation of the Atonement, it is consistency that appears to be lacking.

 My goal was to reference the relevant patristic and cathetical writings.

You wrote that you think the wide corpus of writings show that the priest's article is a modern interpretation of atonement. Like I said earlier, listing quotes from the Fathers is not enough to prove your point. And the cathetical writing you listed by the Greek priest was written by him and produced by his children. Hardly, an authoritative catechism of the whole Orthodox church. I would be surprised if the Greek archdiocese would approve of one of their priests writing his own catechism.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 03, 2007, 04:01:00 PM
Quote
You wrote that you think the wide corpus of writings show that the priest's article is a modern interpretation of atonement. Like I said earlier, listing quotes from the Fathers is not enough to prove your point.

That certainly begs the question of how anybody proves anything then doesn' it.  I'm aware of no dogmatic statements other than the creed that covers this issue.  One can really only reference sacred scripture and the church fathers beyond that for any kind of "proof".  So everybody is really employing the same tactics.

Overall however, mine is not the point to prove.  I'm not the one saying things like "So you will not find the satisfaction theory in their writings", when clearly you can, as I did.  I'm not the one starting threads about the Atonement or Original Sin or ranting about how my own faith is built in opposition to somebody else's.

Quote
And the cathetical writing you listed by the Greek priest was written by him and produced by his children. Hardly, an authoritative catechism of the whole Orthodox church. I would be surprised if the Greek archdiocese would approve of one of their priests writing his own catechism.

Yet what you're producing is an essay by a single priest and saying it represents Orthodox teaching.  At least Fr. Demetry's catechism was approved by the Holy Synod.  It certainly shows that some of the current views aren't exactly consistent with the past, which is my basic impression of the movement to re-cast what is "Orthodox teaching on fill in the blank".  Many people in extremist Orthodox groups like HOCNA, or the people in the convert literature cottage industry are happy with their strawmen and their oppositional faith of west bashing.  I would assume at some point one or two things may happen however:

A. People who are interested in conversion as a refutation of their past will become extinct.
B. Apologists on the other side of the fence will read these arguments and have a field day refuting them.

So I think there will be a reality check at some point.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: aserb on April 03, 2007, 05:05:37 PM
Quote
  A. People who are interested in conversion as a refutation of their past will become extinct.
 

I gotta weigh in on this one! Having been a sojourning in the evangelical camp (all branches Charismatic, Reformed, Fundamental and a few lesser known ones) it was refreshing to return to my roots in Orthodoxy. However, having never learned anything about Orthodoxy prior to my return I was happy to drink up all the Orthodox teachings and literature that I could get my grubby little hands on. Frankly, I was tired of hearing about "the blood" and "saved by the blood of the Lamb". It was all so gorey and the sinners in the hands of an angry God - Well that was my view of him. Frankly, the judicial veiw seemed impersonal and God was a big meanie waiting to squash me like a bug at the first misstep. It was refreshing to read a different soteriology if you will.

However, having returned to Orthodoxy, I. like Welkodox, have become very aware of the convert driven publishing industry, which, I might add, has had its influence on lapsed cradles. Now I am not saying that all of this literature is all bad. But I was just dying to refute all of my Evangelical past to reclaim my "lost" heritage (However, Like Dorothy lost in OZ it was there all the time). This "new" soteriology I found appealing as it refuted my past and provided me with a new outlook.

Yet, I still could not get over the blood and the satisfaction of Jesus' atoning death.

This is a work in progress for me. I am still lovingly Orthodox regardless of the soteriology of the church.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 03, 2007, 05:33:24 PM
I gotta weigh in on this one! Having been a sojourning in the evangelical camp (all branches Charismatic, Reformed, Fundamental and a few lesser known ones) it was refreshing to return to my roots in Orthodoxy. However, having never learned anything about Orthodoxy prior to my return I was happy to drink up all the Orthodox teachings and literature that I could get my grubby little hands on. Frankly, I was tired of hearing about "the blood" and "saved by the blood of the Lamb". It was all so gorey and the sinners in the hands of an angry God - Well that was my view of him. Frankly, the judicial veiw seemed impersonal and God was a big meanie waiting to squash me like a bug at the first misstep. It was refreshing to read a different soteriology if you will.

However, having returned to Orthodoxy, I. like Welkodox, have become very aware of the convert driven publishing industry, which, I might add, has had its influence on lapsed cradles. Now I am not saying that all of this literature is all bad. But I was just dying to refute all of my Evangelical past to reclaim my "lost" heritage (However, Like Dorothy lost in OZ it was there all the time). This "new" soteriology I found appealing as it refuted my past and provided me with a new outlook.

Yet, I still could not get over the blood and the satisfaction of Jesus' atoning death.

This is a work in progress for me. I am still lovingly Orthodox regardless of the soteriology of the church.

Dan,

I think part of the problem is that the definition of some of the terms means something entirely different in Orthodoxy. I was raised in the Orthodox Church and convert literature was never a part of my catechism. But I also never heard  Arab, Greek, or Russian bishops or priests discuss these issues in the terms I am seeing now from some of the posters. The problem I see is when Roman Catholics and Protestants talk about atonement, they mean something entirely different than what we mean even though we may use the same words.
I believe there is a language disconnect. I also believe some new Orthodox Christians who are more western-leaning in their beliefs somehow equate the fact that we use the same language to mean we have the same beliefs. I asked Lubeltri to offer us the Vatican's statement on atonement. I hope he responds. In the meanwhile I am asking various Orthodox clergy friends of mine to explain to me what the words mean to us as Orthodox Christians.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: tuesdayschild on April 03, 2007, 08:06:56 PM
I also believe some new Orthodox Christians who are more western-leaning in their beliefs somehow equate the fact that we use the same language to mean we have the same beliefs.

Are you suggesting that new Orthodox Christians do not have the same beliefs as other Orthodox Christians?  This makes me wonder which beliefs are those that make us Orthodox.  I know, I know: The Creed.  But if both groups use the same language to describe different beliefs, the Creed doesn't mean much.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 03, 2007, 09:25:27 PM
Quote
But if both groups use the same language to describe different beliefs, the Creed doesn't mean much.

Yes, well, some people use the same argument to say the liturgy isn't the same in English as it is in Greek or Slavonic.  I think that's a nonsense argument as well.

The Atonement is something firmly rooted in the Hebraic heritage of the church, and the concepts of propitiation and sacrifice which underpin it are straight from the Old Testament.  Though certainly firmly Jewish in origin, the Atonement and Redemption are above any one cultural expression and it is impossible to think to be understood that one would have to use exactly the right language to convey the ideas that define them.  We're not a secret society where one must have the right knowledge to understand these things.  What happened on the cross and why should actually nearly be our simplest belief to explain.

The understanding of the Atonement is really neither Eastern nor Western as we understand and use the terms for the reasons listed above.  In this thread I have only referenced the Eastern Fathers though.

What it seems to me again here is we have the myopic tendency in at least some parts of the church to see only one perspective as legitimate, and to define what one believes based on a refutation of what somebody else believes.

West = Bad.  etc., etc.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 03, 2007, 09:42:28 PM
Are you suggesting that new Orthodox Christians do not have the same beliefs as other Orthodox Christians?  This makes me wonder which beliefs are those that make us Orthodox.  I know, I know: The Creed.  But if both groups use the same language to describe different beliefs, the Creed doesn't mean much.

No, I am suggesting a few new Orthodox Christians lean toward western understanding of atonement. The English language is what we have in common to discuss these differences and define the terms. But the east and west used Greek and Latin to define what we believe. So while we may use the same words in English, we have a different understanding of the concepts which were developed in two separate languages by two churches who were separated from one another for 1000 years.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 03, 2007, 10:41:55 PM
What it seems to me again here is we have the myopic tendency in at least some parts of the church to see only one perspective as legitimate, and to define what one believes based on a refutation of what somebody else believes.
Isn't that what apophatic theology basically does? Or is apophatic theology now too "Eastern" for your taste? ;)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 03, 2007, 10:49:28 PM
Here is what troubles me. No one seems to want to even deal with the fact that the anti-western Orthodox argument on this subject is a pathetic strawman that no moderately sophisticated 10th grader in an eveangelical youth group would even embrace. No wonder they reject it  - most protestants would too, and many Roman Catholics.

Secondly, no one deals with the arguments from scripture or the Fathers. They ignore the arguments or say you can't line up quotes by the fathers.

I would like to hear from someone to deal with both of these points. I have jumped in on these discussions here 4 or 5 times and no one will deal with the bibilical arguments or admit the usual anti-western tripe is bogeyman.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 03, 2007, 10:58:46 PM
Isn't that what apophatic theology basically does? Or is apophatic theology now too "Eastern" for your taste? ;)
We need to get past the Eastern Church and return to the unified Church of the first thousand years. Like it or not those Western theologians and saints were Orthodox too when the we were all part of the same Church.

Whether or not anyone likes the analogy, for the first thousand years, the Church did in fact breathe with two lungs: East and the West complemented and corrected each other.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 03, 2007, 11:04:43 PM
Thank you BrotherAidan for taking the words out of my mouth!

Isn't that what apophatic theology basically does? Or is apophatic theology now too "Eastern" for your taste? ;)

I'm certainly no theologian, but my understanding of apophatic theology is that it has to do with the inner nature of the Godhead.  The part of God we cannot approach or know.  The Atonement and the preceding Incarnation seem to me to be a part of the revealed aspect of God by their very nature.  So I don't see that applying in this case, unless of course apophatic now means defining your belief by caricacturing the beliefs of others and deconstucting the straw man belief to show how your belief is actually superior.

Ultimately though as I've said, I have actually nowhere in the thread referenced Western Fathers or theologians, either positively or negatively.  I've simply affirmed what the Eastern Fathers have said.  Shouldn't that be our job as Orthodox?  Or is our job to be puffed up with pride and to go around correcting everyone else's beliefs and showing how they are totally wrong?  Will outisders be impressed with us as a church when we can't resist the temptation to slam "the West" every chance we get?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 03, 2007, 11:14:27 PM
Whether or not anyone likes the analogy, for the first thousand years, the Church did in fact breathe with two lungs: East and the West complemented and corrected each other.
True, but whether you like the analogy or not, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, during which neither side has been able to correct the other. We may be looking at the same elephant from different perspectives, but we may also be looking at two different elephants. The only way to find out is by dialogue. But to say that the "Eastern" view must automatically be assumed to be "myopic" and should at once adopt the "Western" view is in itself myopic. The reality is, as you have pointed out yourself, is that there is still strong disagreement. And not just on this forum, but between theologians and clergy on both sides. Your "logical" answer to this seems to be "Just agree with me now". It ain't gonna happen
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Justinian on April 03, 2007, 11:14:49 PM
We need to get past the Eastern Church and return to the unified Church of the first thousand years. Like it or not those Western theologians and saints were Orthodox too when the we were all part of the same Church.

Whether or not anyone likes the analogy, for the first thousand years, the Church did in fact breathe with two lungs: East and the West complemented and corrected each other.



Hahaha, yea if you live in an alternate historical reality...
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 03, 2007, 11:41:56 PM
I asked Lubeltri to offer us the Vatican's statement on atonement. I hope he responds.

There is no defining Vatican statement on the issue you describe. The Catholic Church recognizes the penal satisfaction theory (not the strawman version of it depicted in your article) as one of several valid approaches. Contrary to common Hyperdox belief, Rome doesn't dogmatize everything. The Mystery of Faith cannot be contained in only one concept, and the nature of the Atonement remains open to theological speculation.

Here's a great overview in the Catholic Encyclopedia on the development of the theology of the Atonement. I highly recommend reading the whole thing (it's not very long), but I'll post a summary excerpt here:

On looking back at the various theories noticed so far, it will be seen that they are not, for the most part, mutually exclusive, but may be combined and harmonized. It may be said, indeed, that they all help to bring out different aspects of that great doctrine which cannot find adequate expression in any human theory. And in point of fact it will generally be found that the chief Fathers and Schoolmen, though they may at times lay more stress on some favourite theory of their own, do not lose sight of the other explanations.

Thus the Greek Fathers, who delight in speculating on the Mystical Redemption by the Incarnation, do not omit to speak also of our salvation by the shedding of blood. Origen, who lays most stress on the deliverance by payment of a ransom, does not forget to dwell on the need of a sacrifice for sin. St. Anselm again, in his "Meditations", supplements the teaching set forth in his "Cur Deus Homo?" Abelard, who might seem to make the Atonement consist in nothing more than the constraining example of Divine Love has spoken also of our salvation by the Sacrifice of the Cross, in passages to which his critics do not attach sufficient importance. And, as we have seen his great opponent, St. Bernard, teaches all that is really true and valuable in the theory which he condemned. Most, if not all, of these theories had perils of their own, if they were isolated and exaggerated. But in the Catholic Church there was ever a safeguard against these dangers of distortion. As Mr. Oxenham says very finely,

    The perpetual priesthood of Christ in heaven, which occupies a prominent place in nearly all the writings we have examined, is even more emphatically insisted upon by Origen. And this deserves to be remembered, because it is a part of the doctrine which has been almost or altogether dropped out of many Protestant expositions of the Atonement, whereas those most inclining among Catholics to a merely juridical view of the subject have never been able to forget the present and living reality of a sacrifice constantly kept before their eyes, as it were, in the worship which reflects on earth the unfailing liturgy of heaven. (p. 38)


The reality of these dangers and the importance of this safeguard may be seen in the history of this doctrine since the age of Reformation. As we have seen, its earlier development owed comparatively little to the stress of controversy with the heretics. And the revolution of the sixteenth century was no exception to the rule. For the atonement was not one of the subjects directly disputed between the Reformers and their Catholic opponents. But from its close connection with the cardinal question of Justification, this doctrine assumed a very special prominence and importance in Protestant theology and practical preaching. Mark Pattison tells us in his "Memoirs" that he came to Oxford with his "home Puritan religion almost narrowed to two points, fear of God's wrath and faith in the doctrine of the Atonement". And his case was possibly no exception among Protestant religionists. In their general conception on the atonement the Reformers and their followers happily preserved the Catholic doctrine, at least in its main lines. And in their explanation of the merit of Christ's sufferings and death we may see the influence of St. Thomas and the other great Schoolmen. But, as might be expected from the isolation of the doctrine and the loss of other portions of Catholic teaching, the truth thus preserved was sometimes insensibly obscured or distorted. It will be enough to note here the presence of two mistaken tendencies.

    * The first is indicated in the above words of Pattison in which the Atonement is specially connected with the thought of the wrath of God. It is true of course that sin incurs the anger of the Just Judge, and that this is averted when the debt due to Divine Justice is paid by satisfaction. But it must not be thought that God is only moved to mercy and reconciled to us as a result of this satisfaction. This false conception of the Reconciliation is expressly rejected by St. Augustine (In Joannem, Tract. cx, section 6). God's merciful love is the cause, not the result of that satisfaction.

    * The second mistake is the tendency to treat the Passion of Christ as being literally a case of vicarious punishment. This is at best a distorted view of the truth that His Atoning Sacrifice took the place of our punishment, and that He took upon Himself the sufferings and death that were due to our sins.



http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02055a.htm

----

As you can see, the exclusive "wrath of God" view is rejected out of hand.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 03, 2007, 11:47:59 PM
See, this is the problem.  When a person is trying to discuss using quotes from Eastern fathers, it is exactly the anti-Western attitude from people who produce no arguments except, "Well, I trust my convert seminarian friend" or "Not all fathers are perfect" or "You're so lost and you're misunderstanding everything."  It is these empty comments that bother me a lot from Orthodox, and truly shows that Pharisaical prideful nature of many of you here, rather than being humble and actually having an intellectual/academic conversation.

It's sad that this happens to be a discussion that falls on Holy Week, when we remember to be civil, humble, and productive.  So far, the only one who made a convincing argument is Welkodox.  Everyone either says "you're misunderstanding this," "they're wrong," "let's trust that convert seminarian," "you're in an alternative reality," etc.  This is disgusting, and should not be the attitude of Orthodox intelligent faithful.  Either you are ready to make an effective argument, or don't say anything if you have nothing nice or better to say something.

I find it quite telling that many Latin fathers (and Eastern fathers) who had this type of language was never attacked at the time, and that this debate only started about 100 years ago.  I do however want to readdress the issue of "infinite sin/guilt" and "the robbing of God's glory."  Has there been anything from the Holy Fathers on these?

Here's a book by Vladimir Moss on this very subject:
http://www.romanitas.ru/eng/The%20Mystery%20of%20Redemption.htm

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Kreator on April 04, 2007, 04:51:17 AM


    That the father would demand from someone to pay and woyld accept aout of this alone for his son to be sacrificed is absurd beyond belief.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: aserb on April 04, 2007, 09:03:33 AM
Minissoliman:

I think it is great that we are having this discussion on Holy Week for it deals with the core of our beliefs and the most defining moment in the universe -- Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. Instead of attacking others on this board who are making dismissive arguements, let us seek to educate and edify one another.

AS Welkodox pointed out, many new converts to Orthodoxy are quick to diown and refute their theological past, when in fact some of their former theology may have not been all off the mark. This is a pitful for our newly chrismated brethern which has also affected some newly enlightened cradles who are returning to their first love.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: tuesdayschild on April 04, 2007, 11:04:53 AM
Yes, well, some people use the same argument to say the liturgy isn't the same in English as it is in Greek or Slavonic.  I think that's a nonsense argument as well.

I had not heard that translations of the liturgy.  But I do not think it is a nonsense argument to suggest that if terms in the Creed (or any document) are defined differently by different groups of people then the term in question becomes meaningless since it ceases to communicate a mutually-agreed upon idea.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: tuesdayschild on April 04, 2007, 11:05:50 AM
Hahaha, yea if you live in an alternate historical reality...

 ;D
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 04, 2007, 11:54:58 AM
a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then...
Your "logical" answer to this seems to be "Just agree with me now". It ain't gonna happen

I am not saying to forget a thousand years of history, but in the instance of the subject of this thread, look at the beliefs and emphases of both East and West and its theologians and Fathers for the first thousand years in terms of various prisms through which to view the atonement.

And I'm not saying just agree with me. I am very reasonably asking people not to set up silly straw men and asking people to deal with the scriptural arguments.

If after having done that, someone still disagrees, I can heartily agree to disagree as brothers (or siblings). But let's have a legitiimate debate based on the correct understanding of what we may be critiquing and /or defending and at least try to examine some of the biblical data.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 04, 2007, 11:56:27 AM
Lubeltri,

Thank you for the information. I will have to read it over a few times to digest it. Below are some responses I got from a variety of Orthodox priests on the subject. One was OCA, one Antiochian, and one ROCOR. They stated they were in agreement with one another when replying to me.

OCA priest wrote:

The main flaw of 'substitutionary' atonement -- which is NOT taught by the
authentically orthodox catholic Christian Tradition -- is that it asserts that
our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died INSTEAD OF US. This theory is also
complicated by ideas of 'satisfaction of divine justice' and false notions of
what it means for us to be 'saved'.

The Tradition maintains that our Lord Jesus Christ, fully divine and fully
human, too, took it upon Himself to SHARE our existence in its entirety --
except for sin -- including all our joys and all our sorrows, not the least of
which is death itself, which we earn (just as Adam did) as the recompense for
our sins.

Christ suffers WITH us, not instead of us or because God is offended, but
because He intends to save us from the ultimate penalty for our sins. And now
that we share our humanity with Him by virtue of His incarnation, He will share
His divinity with us in the resurrection if only we will accept the salvation He
brings us.

We should remain aware that this _theosis_ is not a concern of people who
believe in Anselmian/Calvinistic atonement theories; the concept is simply not
available to their theology.

The Antiochian Orthodox priest response is:

The overriding theme in the Fathers'
soteriology is of sharing/participation/theosis. The error of
heterodox soteriology, I believe, is in focusing on one element of the
truth and exaggerating it to the detriment its catholic fullness.

There honestly is, however, no single dogmatized model of the
atonement which is put forward in Orthodox teaching. The Scripture
and the Fathers use many different images and ways of discussing the
mysterious reality of salvation, most of which cannot be reduced to
systems (buying oil for one's lamp, for instance).

A ROCOR priest wrote:

The idea of the "Atonement" as a Ransom was repudiated in no uncertain terms
by Sainy Gregory Nazianzen (4th century) who said:

"Was it paid to the evil one? Monstrous thought!
The devil receives a ransom not only from God but of God ..
To the Father? But we were not in bondage to him ...
And could the Father delight in the death of his Son?" (Orationes,
45.22)

Of course it can be thought of as a ransom. Following the Church Fathers ,
the East teaches that Christ, on the Cross, gave
"His life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28), (Mark 10:45).

The "ransom" is paid to the grave. As the Lord revealed to the Prophet Hosea
(Hosea 13:14),
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from
death."

In a sense, He pays the ransom to the devil who is the keeper of the grave
and holds the power of death (Heb. 2:14).
"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their
humanity
so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of
death--that is, the devil."


But despite Saint Gregory's objections, the idea that God demanded the
ransom became popular. Saint Gregory protested that the question of "Who
received the payment?" should not be pressed hard. No matter what debt the
Devil was owed it could not possibly have included God himself. On the other
hand, the Father could not have been the recipient of the ransom, since he
was not the one holding us captive. And if the blood of Isaac had not
pleased him, why would he desire the blood of his beloved son?

Saint Gregory sums up: "the Father accepts Christ's sacrifice without having
demanded it; the Son offers it to honour him; and the result is the defeat
of the Evil One. This is as much as we shall say of Christ; the greater
portion shall be reverenced with silence."

Anselm took aim at the exaggerated versions of the ransom theory, but
unfortunately didn't agree to leave the greater portion to silence. He
theorised that the payment *was* made to God the Father. In Anselm's
formulation, our sins were like an offence against the honour of a mighty
ruler. The ruler is not free to simply forgive the transgression;
restitution must be made. (This is a crucial new element in the story;
earlier Christians believed that God the Father did, in fact, freely forgive
us, like the father of the Prodigal Son - that parable deserves serious
thought in connection with this discussion.) No human would be adequate to
pay this debt, so God the Son volunteers to do so. "If the Son chose to make
over the claim He had on God to man, could the Father justly forbid Him
doing so, or refuse to man what the Son willed to give him?" Christ
satisfies our debt in this, the "Satisfaction Theory."

Western Christian theology marched on from that point, encountering
controversies and developments and revisions, but locked on the idea that
Christ's death was directed toward the Father. When Western theologians look
back at the centuries before Anselm they can't find his theory anywhere
(well, there are some premonitions in Tertullian and Cyprian, but it wasn't
the mainstream.) And Anselm's ideas which developed when Christendom had
been rent in two remain, still, essentially unknown to the ancient Churches
of the East.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 04, 2007, 12:01:08 PM
I had not heard that translations of the liturgy.  But I do not think it is a nonsense argument to suggest that if terms in the Creed (or any document) are defined differently by different groups of people then the term in question becomes meaningless since it ceases to communicate a mutually-agreed upon idea.

The terms are not meaningless but mean different things to each group.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 04, 2007, 12:03:58 PM

Hahaha, yea if you live in an alternate historical reality...

Nice one! Thanks, I get it. Ha Ha!

I repeat myself:
I am not saying to forget a thousand years of history (since the schism), but in the instance of the subject of this thread, look at the beliefs and emphases of both East and West and its theologians and Fathers for the first thousand years in terms of various prisms through which to view the atonement. Are both emphases present in each's understanding although the East highlighted one and the West highlighted the other and only after the schism did each "side's" emphasis become dominant almost to the exclusion of the other emphasis?

If I did not make that clear and you thought I meant, "oh boy, wouldn't it be nice if we could all just get along and pretend nothing bad has happened since 1054 and jump back a thousand years." Well, I'm not smoking anything so that is not what I meant!

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 04, 2007, 12:36:35 PM
OCA priest wrote:

Quote
OCA priest wrote:

The main flaw of 'substitutionary' atonement -- which is NOT taught by the
authentically orthodox catholic Christian Tradition -- is that it asserts that
our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died INSTEAD OF US. This theory is also
complicated by ideas of 'satisfaction of divine justice' and false notions of
what it means for us to be 'saved'.

The commission of sin involves injury to God Himself. there is need of virtue great than is found in man to be able to cancel the indictment. For the lowest it is particularly easy to commit an injury against Him who is greatest. Yet it is impossible for him to compensate for this insolence by any honour. He, then, who seeks to cancel the indictment against himself must restore the honour to Him who has been insulted and pay more than he owes, partly by way of restitution, partly by adding compensation. Jesus alone, then, was able to render all the honour that is due to that Father and make satisfaction for that which had been taken away. The former he achieved by His life, the latter by His death. The death which He died upon the cross to the Father's glory He brought to outweigh the injury which we had committed; in addition He most abundantly made amends for the debt of honour which we owed for our sins.

Nicholas Cabasilas from The Life in Christ 4:4

And the Lamb of God not only did this, but was chastised on our behalf, and suffered a penalty He did not owe, but which we owed because of the multitude of our sins; and so He became the cause of the forgiveness of our sins, because He received death for us, and transferred to Himself the scourging, the insults, and the dishonour, which were due to us, and drew down on Himself the apportioned curse, being made a curse for us. And what is that but the price of our souls? And so the oracle says in our person: "By his stripes we were healed," and "The Lord delivered him for our sins," with the result that uniting Himself to us and us to Himself, and appropriating our sufferings, He can say, "I said, Lord, have mercy on me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee".

St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 16, 21, 24, 31

Quote
The Antiochian Orthodox priest response is:

There honestly is, however, no single dogmatized model of the
atonement which is put forward in Orthodox teaching.
The Scripture
and the Fathers use many different images and ways of discussing the
mysterious reality of salvation, most of which cannot be reduced to
systems (buying oil for one's lamp, for instance).

Quote
A ROCOR priest wrote:

The idea of the "Atonement" as a Ransom was repudiated in no uncertain terms
by Sainy Gregory Nazianzen (4th century) who said:

He is Sanctification, as being Purity, that the Pure may be contained by Purity. And Redemption, because He sets us free, who were held captive under sin, giving Himself a Ransom for us, the Sacrifice to make expiation for the world. And Resurrection, because He raises up from hence, and brings to life again us, who were slain by sin.


St. Gregory Nazianzen, Discourses 30.20

For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many

Mark 10:42-45

He it is that was crucified before the sun and all creation as witnesses, and before those who put Him to death: and by His death has salvation come to all, and all creation been ransomed. He is the Life of all, and He it is that as a sheep yielded His body to death as a substitute, for the salvation of all, even though the Jews believe it not.

St. Athanasios the Great, On the Incarnation 37:7

Thus then the Lord also, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; but when the Father willed that ransoms should be paid for all and to all, grace should be given, then truly the Word, as Aaron his robe, so did He take earthly flesh, having Mary for the Mother of His Body as if virgin earth, that, as a High Priest, having He as others an offering, He might offer Himself to the Father, and cleanse us all from sins in His own blood, and might rise from the dead.

St. Athanasios the Great, Against the Arians 2.7

We believe our Lord Jesus Christ to be the only mediator, and that in giving Himself a ransom for all He hath through His own Blood made a reconciliation between God and man, and that Himself having a care for His own is advocate and propitiation for our sins.

Synod of Jerusalem, Decree 8

Quote
He theorised that the payment *was* made to God the Father. In Anselm's
formulation, our sins were like an offence against the honour of a mighty
ruler.

The commission of sin involves injury to God Himself. there is need of virtue great than is found in man to be able to cancel the indictment. For the lowest it is particularly easy to commit an injury against Him who is greatest. Yet it is impossible for him to compensate for this insolence by any honour. He, then, who seeks to cancel the indictment against himself must restore the honour to Him who has been insulted and pay more than he owes, partly by way of restitution, partly by adding compensation. Jesus alone, then, was able to render all the honour that is due to that Father and make satisfaction for that which had been taken away. The former he achieved by His life, the latter by His death. The death which He died upon the cross to the Father's glory He brought to outweigh the injury which we had committed; in addition He most abundantly made amends for the debt of honour which we owed for our sins.

Nicholas Cabasilas from The Life in Christ 4:4
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 04, 2007, 01:27:51 PM
Andrew,

I think we could go around all day using quotes from the Fathers to repudiate the other's claim. But I think what is key is that there is no single dogmatized model of the atonement which is put forward in Orthodox teaching according to the Antiochian Orthodox priest and even Lubeltri's message mention that the Roman Catholic church did not dogmatize anyone theory. He wrote: the Mystery of Faith cannot be contained in only one concept, and the nature of the Atonement remains open to theological speculation.

So there appears to be agreement on this issue that neither church dogmatized any one theory. I guess the next step to figure out is what theories does each church put forward and how does each church define them.

I may not be able to post much between now and Pascha because I have to prepare for Pascha.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: aserb on April 04, 2007, 01:37:08 PM
Quote
I may not be able to post much between now and Pascha because I have to prepare for Pascha. 

Which we should all be doing!
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Schultz on April 04, 2007, 01:57:01 PM
Andrew,

...But I think what is key is that there is no single dogmatized model of the atonement which is put forward in Orthodox teaching according to the Antiochian Orthodox priest and even Lubeltri's message mention that the Roman Catholic church did not dogmatize anyone theory.
...
So there appears to be agreement on this issue that neither church dogmatized any one theory. I guess the next step to figure out is what theories does each church put forward and how does each church define them.


Isn't this what he's been saying all along?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 04, 2007, 02:30:03 PM
Let me start out by saying none of this is addressed to Tamara or anyone else personally.  She is certainly a person of good will who I think I just happen to annoy.

Anyhow,

People want to have it both ways as far as I can tell.  There is an "Orthodox view" of the Atonement, which of course is opposed to and totally different from the western view.  When quotes from the church fathers, statements from Orthodox catechisms, quotes from the Bible or statements of Orthodox Synods highlight the paucity or contradictory nature of the purported "Orthodox view" (i.e. you can't find a theory of satisfactions in, or there is no ransom, or it couldn't be to the father, or nobody's honor is at stake, etc.) then either it's your credibility to speak which is in question (you just don't have the Orthodox mindset yet) or one can just fall back on the "well, there's no actual dogma here" position.

It is above all obvious to me that many things people are saying are not there, or that they oppose as western and therefore erroneous, are there and present in Eastern Fathers and theologians.  It is also equally obvious to me that many Orthodox people instead of engaging the western theological tradition openly, honestly and fairly; prefer to construct a straw man of their own making called "western theology" that they can readily knock down for the purposes I suppose of any or all of the following

- Justifying their own conversion through maximizing the East/West differences
- Expressing a loathing of the Roman Catholic Church
- Attracting converts interested in renouncing their past and living a life of oppositional faith (I believe, because I believe the west is wrong)

Really, all I'm calling for is honesty.  If Orthodoxy is really about creating a new view of the Atonement inconsistent with a great deal of the Patristic tradition and its own past which stands in opposition to some vague notion of the "western view", let's just call it that.  Let's stop kidding ourselves and move on.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 04, 2007, 02:32:00 PM
Isn't this what he's been saying all along?
I think that is what Welkodox and I have both been saying; that substitution may not be the main motif in the Eastern Church but it is not entirely and systematically absent either.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 04, 2007, 04:46:17 PM
Andrew and Brother Aidan,

I never said I didn't believe we had multiply theories, what I said is I have never been taught that the Orthodox church has  a penal satisfaction theory. I think this is where the difference of opinion lies.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 04, 2007, 05:36:22 PM
The problem with the penal satisfaction theory is that it give rise to the Filioque. It changes the way the trinity is understud. The Church is located within this Triadic plan, where the Father favors, the Son is the One Who offers Himself so that Creation can become incorporated and be able to have a relationship with the Father, and the Holy Spirit is the One Who liberates Creation from its limitations, from the restrictions of being created.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 05, 2007, 12:48:28 AM
The problem with the penal satisfaction theory is that it give rise to the Filioque.

Hardly. That's a very old and tired canard.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 05, 2007, 08:33:35 AM
Hardly. That's a very old and tired canard.

Our specialty it seems.  ;)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 05, 2007, 10:04:09 AM
Hardly. That's a very old and tired canard.

Your very mistaken. Because Creation cannot on its own communicate with God, on account of its natural limitations. It is the son who makes the link to the father. The son is the one that makes the link for us to be saved. That is why we are called the body and Christ is the head. Together we are given to the father for reconciliation. without the proper understanding, Christology is lost in translation. The reconciliation is repeated at every Divine liturgy. Again, His act is not to satisfy the fathers wrath. His act is to unite humanity with the uncreated.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 05, 2007, 10:32:57 AM
I thought this was helpful because this Orthodox gentleman defines some terms from the original Hebrew and Greek

from this blog: http://perennialrambler.blogspot.com/2006/01/wading-into-controversy.html

"What is particularly interesting is that in On the Incarnation 2:7 (with the relevent passage quoted above) St.Athanasios says pretty clearly that had it only been an issue of trespass, repentence would have been sufficient However, the sad fact is that our repentence would not have been sufficient to undo the damage done to human nature when Adam fell from grace. And this is where we move into the central theme of St.Athanasios' treatise - that Christ came to heal human nature, restoring divinizing grace to it. The central part of fixing this damage of course, was to destroy the power of death; and Christ did this by submitting to the "law of death" and being the Light which overcomes darkness, transforming the grave into the womb of our ressurection.

Foreign to all of this is any notion of God needing His honour repaired. That would seem pretty clear given St.Athanasios' words on the would-be sufficiency of repentence (were it not for the corruption and death which flow from it). He could not have said such words had he entertained the later teachings of heterodoxy on this topic.

Beyond this particular document of St.Athanasios though, there are all sorts of terms which many westerners (myself included) seem to have difficulty seeing on the page without misunderstanding them. For example...

Atonement - Hebrew Kippur/Kapher which means to "cover over" with the implied understanding of this resulting in reconcilliation. This does not at all require a belief that one is somehow buying off an upset God. The Greek word used for atonement in the New Testament is katallage which simply means to reconcile via an exchange/transformation (you can check this yourself by following the etymological references provided in a New Testament Greek concordance like Strong's).

Sacrifice/Offering - Hebrew Qarav, which means "to draw near". The purpose of the sacrifices of old was to (insofar as they were able) bring a man close to God. In fact the same root word is used elsewhere in the Old Testament in the context of sexual relations (and hence may be part of the reason why the relationship between God and His people is portrayed as being that between a husband and his bride.) Again, none of this relates to the later (heterodox) teachings on Christ's feat of salvation.

Justified - Greek Dikaioo, which means to render one has he ought to be, and/or to declare/demonstrate that one is as he ought to be. The closest aspect of this to the later-day western conception of this subject, is the idea that God is making a statement about someone. Whatever way you slice it, it has nothing to do with pacifying a grievous offence given to God.

Ransom - Greek Lutron, which means the price paid to liberate someone, such as a captive or a slave, with the distinct sense that the "ransom" dissolves whatever it is that was binding that which is being liberated (from it's root luo). Now, unless one believes that it was "God the Father" who was our jailor and from whose oppression we needed liberation, then it is quite clear that the Anselmian theory (and it's bastard children) are not at all called for."
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 05, 2007, 11:10:40 AM
Your very mistaken. Because Creation cannot on its own communicate with God, on account of its natural limitations. It is the son who makes the link to the father. The son is the one that makes the link for us to be saved. That is why we are called the body and Christ is the head. Together we are given to the father for reconciliation. without the proper understanding, Christology is lost in translation. The reconciliation is repeated at every Divine liturgy. Again, His act is not to satisfy the fathers wrath. His act is to unite humanity with the uncreated.

The filioque predates the penal satisfaction theory by hundreds of years. Perhaps you can try one of the other anti-Western cliches?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 05, 2007, 11:35:18 AM
I thought this was helpful because this Orthodox gentleman defines some terms from the original Hebrew and Greek

from this blog: http://perennialrambler.blogspot.com/2006/01/wading-into-controversy.html

"What is particularly interesting is that in On the Incarnation 2:7 (with the relevent passage quoted above) St.Athanasios says pretty clearly that had it only been an issue of trespass, repentence would have been sufficient However, the sad fact is that our repentence would not have been sufficient to undo the damage done to human nature when Adam fell from grace. And this is where we move into the central theme of St.Athanasios' treatise - that Christ came to heal human nature, restoring divinizing grace to it. The central part of fixing this damage of course, was to destroy the power of death; and Christ did this by submitting to the "law of death" and being the Light which overcomes darkness, transforming the grave into the womb of our ressurection.

Foreign to all of this is any notion of God needing His honour repaired. That would seem pretty clear given St.Athanasios' words on the would-be sufficiency of repentence (were it not for the corruption and death which flow from it). He could not have said such words had he entertained the later teachings of heterodoxy on this topic.

Beyond this particular document of St.Athanasios though, there are all sorts of terms which many westerners (myself included) seem to have difficulty seeing on the page without misunderstanding them. For example...

Atonement - Hebrew Kippur/Kapher which means to "cover over" with the implied understanding of this resulting in reconcilliation. This does not at all require a belief that one is somehow buying off an upset God. The Greek word used for atonement in the New Testament is katallage which simply means to reconcile via an exchange/transformation (you can check this yourself by following the etymological references provided in a New Testament Greek concordance like Strong's).

Sacrifice/Offering - Hebrew Qarav, which means "to draw near". The purpose of the sacrifices of old was to (insofar as they were able) bring a man close to God. In fact the same root word is used elsewhere in the Old Testament in the context of sexual relations (and hence may be part of the reason why the relationship between God and His people is portrayed as being that between a husband and his bride.) Again, none of this relates to the later (heterodox) teachings on Christ's feat of salvation.

Justified - Greek Dikaioo, which means to render one has he ought to be, and/or to declare/demonstrate that one is as he ought to be. The closest aspect of this to the later-day western conception of this subject, is the idea that God is making a statement about someone. Whatever way you slice it, it has nothing to do with pacifying a grievous offence given to God.

Ransom - Greek Lutron, which means the price paid to liberate someone, such as a captive or a slave, with the distinct sense that the "ransom" dissolves whatever it is that was binding that which is being liberated (from it's root luo). Now, unless one believes that it was "God the Father" who was our jailor and from whose oppression we needed liberation, then it is quite clear that the Anselmian theory (and it's bastard children) are not at all called for."

Once again we have strawmen, complete with generalizing everything as "Western" and using phrases like "hideous" and "whacked out" and "buying off an upset God." Really, this is probably, deep down, one of the chief reasons I did not become Orthodox. What is so clear in Scripture and the Fathers is denied by so many Orthodox as "Western." I would suggest you read the article I posted that gives a balanced Catholic view instead of reading a caricature from an Orthodox who shows signs of convertitis.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 05, 2007, 11:42:33 AM
lubeltri, I can't say I blame you.  I don't know what I would have done if I had run across this kind of nonsense before I converted.  Luckily it was a while after that I gradually became aware of it.  This in particular

Quote
Ransom - Greek Lutron, which means the price paid to liberate someone, such as a captive or a slave, with the distinct sense that the "ransom" dissolves whatever it is that was binding that which is being liberated (from it's root luo). Now, unless one believes that it was "God the Father" who was our jailor and from whose oppression we needed liberation, then it is quite clear that the Anselmian theory (and it's bastard children) are not at all called for."

Makes absolutely no sense.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Schultz on April 05, 2007, 11:51:02 AM
My only question is what are this Orthodox gentleman's credentials/experience in translating from Hebrew and Koine Greek?  Where did he get these translations from?  Are they his own?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 05, 2007, 12:01:21 PM
I will read it but I do think the terms used in English convey a very different meaning than what the original Greek and Hebrew words conveyed. That was the point of the post. Look at how we translate the Greek word eleison in English:


mer
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 05, 2007, 12:03:00 PM
I will read it but I do think the terms used in English convey a very different meaning than what the original Greek and Hebrew words conveyed. That was the point of the post. Look at how we translate the Greek word eleison in English:


mer
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 05, 2007, 12:03:59 PM
My full message is not coming through. I will try to send it later.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 05, 2007, 12:04:31 PM
My only question is what are this Orthodox gentleman's credentials/experience in translating from Hebrew and Koine Greek?  Where did he get these translations from?  Are they his own?

Perhaps he cut and pasted them from somewhere else.

Who knows. I've been looking at his blog. On his profile, I found a link to what is supposed to be his website: http://www.thememoryhole.org/.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 05, 2007, 06:17:49 PM

Makes absolutely no sense.

You want to know why it makes no sense to you. Because you don't see the whole picture. You have to start at the fall of man. See why he fell. It's not just a moral issue. It's an ontological one as well. After Adam fell even if he asked for forgiveness from god he couldn't return to Paradise. Because the link between uncreated and created was severed. Christ became the new Adam to correct what had gone wrong. Man was not immortal on his own even in Paradise. He had to be in communion with god to be immortal. That is why you don't understand those terms posted above. The reason why Christ came is to save us and creation from death.
1 Corinthians 15:53
For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:54
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
Christ united human nature with the divine.
As created beings we are susceptible to death. For us to be saved from death we have to be in communion with Christ. Christ is the one that repairs the fall by uniting us with the father again.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 05, 2007, 06:26:15 PM
lubeltri, I can't say I blame you.  I don't know what I would have done if I had run across this kind of nonsense before I converted.  Luckily it was a while after that I gradually became aware of it. 
 
NOTE: The quote ends above. I don't know how this post all got in the blue box. My response to the quote is below:

I came across it before I converted, near the end of my catechumenate during the debates about Mel Gibson's Passion movie. It was a stumbling block but I chocked it up to an Othodox allergy to the substitutionary atonement. There were too many other wonderful things about Orthodoxy to keep me away over this one point. But peridodically, I want to throw my hands up and scream over what seems to be a deliberate obtuseness when it comes to this subject. Some people just WILL not listen to any argument put forth and stubbornly will not accept any subtlety to the substitutionary view and insist on throwing up strawman after strawman.

The good thing is that I generally only find it here at OC.net and not in my parish.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 05, 2007, 06:32:26 PM
Demetrios G

I would not at all disagree with you. But I also do not see how Christ paying for our sins as part of the purpose of his death on the cross is at odds with what you have written.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 05, 2007, 09:11:50 PM
My issue was with the ransom view put forward.  In place of "makes no sense", I should have said "faulty".
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 05, 2007, 09:41:26 PM
My issue was with the ransom view put forward.  In place of "makes no sense", I should have said "faulty".

The question it asks is: "To whom is the ransom paid?"
It cannot be paid to God, since God was not holding us to ransom because of our sins. We were enslaved to Death and the Devil by our sins, and to say that Christ paid a ransom to death and the Devil to liberate us is ludicrous.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 05, 2007, 10:10:20 PM
The question it asks is: "To whom is the ransom paid?"

Yes, that is the question.

Quote
It cannot be paid to God, since God was not holding us to ransom because of our sins. We were enslaved to Death and the Devil by our sins, and to say that Christ paid a ransom to death and the Devil to liberate us is ludicrous.

Yet, if what you say is true, there is no ransom.  Yet, clearly there is a ransom that was paid by Christ on our behalf.  But to whom?

It seems to me there is only one possibility.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 05, 2007, 10:14:03 PM
Yet, if what you say is true, there is no ransom.  Yet, clearly there is a ransom that was paid by Christ on our behalf.  But to whom?
Or, another possibility is that "ransom" is a metaphor, and is not to be taken literally.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 05, 2007, 10:40:35 PM
Or, another possibility is that "ransom" is a metaphor, and is not to be taken literally.

I can't see how that wouldn't radically vitiate the meaning of the Atonement though, just as saying for instance that the words "bodily resurrection" are not to be understood literally.

In the actions surrounding the Atonement, it seems like there is a literal offering for man's sin, a literal propitiation and a literal satisfaction of divine justice.  It is in everything I have read that I have posted.  To give some examples again:

Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ. (Book 4, Section 4).

The commission of sin involves injury to God Himself...  there is need of virtue great than is found in man to be able to cancel the indictment. For the lowest it is particularly easy to commit an injury against Him who is greatest. Yet it is impossible for him to compensate for this insolence by any honour... He, then, who seeks to cancel the indictment against himself must restore the honour to Him who has been insulted and pay more than he owes, partly by way of restitution, partly by adding compensation... [Jesus] alone, then, was able to render all the honour that is due to that Father and make satisfaction for that which had been taken away. The former he achieved by His life, the latter by His death. The death which He died upon the cross to the Father's glory He brought to outweigh the injury which we had committed; in addition He most abundantly made amends for the debt of honour which we owed for our sins.

Longer Catechism of St. Philaret of Moscow

208.  How does the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross deliver us from sin, the curse, and death?

That we may the more readily believe this mystery, the Word of God teaches us of it, so much as we may be able to receive, by the comparison of Jesus Christ with Adam. Adam is by nature the head of all mankind, which is one with him by natural descent from him. Jesus Christ, in whom the Godhead is united with manhood, graciously made himself the new almighty Head of men, whom he unites to himself through faith. Therefore as in Adam we had fallen under sin, the curse, and death, so we are delivered from sin, the curse, and death in Jesus Christ. His voluntary suffering and death on the cross for us, being of infinite value and merit, as the death of one sinless, God and man in one person, is both a perfect satisfaction to the justice of God, which had condemned us for sin to death, and a fund of infinite merit, which has obtained him the right, without prejudice to justice, to give us sinners pardon of our sins, and grace to have victory over sin and death.


The ransom it seems to me is quite real and I agree with you that the idea that it was owed to the Devil is ludicrous.  That leaves one possibility, and I think both of these show what the ransom was, to who it was owed, and to who it was paid.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 05, 2007, 11:00:13 PM
St. Gregory the Theologian, Second Oration on Pascha

"To whom was that Blood offered that was shed for us, and why was it shed? I mean the precious and famous Blood of our God and High Priest and Sacrifice. We were detained in bondage by the evil one, sold under sin, and received pleasure in exchange for wickedness. Now, since a ransom belongs only to him who holds in bondage, I ask, to who was this offered and to what cause? If to the evil one, fie upon the outrage! The robber receives ransom, not only from God, but a ransom which consists of God Himself, and as such has an illustrious payment for his tyranny, a payment for whose sake it would have been right for him to have left us alone all together.
But first I ask, how? For it was not by Him (God) that we were being oppressed. And next, on what principle did the Blood of His only Begotten Son delight the Father, Who would not receive even Isaac when he was being offered by his father, but changed the sacrifice, putting a ram in place of a human victim? Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things."
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 05, 2007, 11:30:33 PM
Demetrios G

I would not at all disagree with you. But I also do not see how Christ paying for our sins as part of the purpose of his death on the cross is at odds with what you have written.

It's not at all at odds. In fact it complements it. But that's not the point. The point is that western theology focuses on sin alone. Very much like Orthodox converts. Focusing on sin is a dead end. It doesn't end at the cross. If we don't look at it from an orthodox perspective (even if both end at the same place)  It doesn't bring eternal life. What gives us eternal life is focusing on the Eucharist. The Eucharist puts us in communion with Christ. Christ puts us into communion with the father. The Holy spirit razes us from the dead. The church will continue even after the second coming and forever. It's what gives us ever lasting life. The heavy focus on sin and the cross has also infected the orthodox. Most orthodox don't even know that life eternal depends on communion with Christ through his church. The churches have emptied out because people don't know what the church is there for. That's why.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 05, 2007, 11:41:50 PM
ransoming us from sin and death
atoning sacrifice for our sins
taking our sufferings and sins upon himself
trampling down death by death and bestowing life
showing by example that no man has greater love than this that he lays down his life for his friends, even    moreso because as St. Paul states in Romans chaper 5, that God shows his love for us in that while we still his enemies, Christ died for the ungodly
Christ as victor over sin and death  
Christ as obedient son of the Father, obedient unto death;
All of these motifs and more are the mystery of Christ's death on the cross.

to just take one of the motifs scripture gives us or to eliminate any of them, diminishes our appreciation of the mystery

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 05, 2007, 11:47:57 PM
Or, another possibility is that "ransom" is a metaphor, and is not to be taken literally.

I would not wish to say that any of the bibilical motifs for understanding the cross are metaphorical; mysteries that we can't fully comprehend? Yes. Metaphors, No.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 05, 2007, 11:49:29 PM
Demetrios
thank you for your comments on the eucharist.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 06, 2007, 12:02:29 AM
I would not wish to say that any of the bibilical motifs for understanding the cross are metaphorical; mysteries that we can't fully comprehend? Yes. Metaphors, No.
So, again, I ask, to whom was the ransom paid if it is a literal ransom? As St. Gregory says, the one who held us in bondage is the evil one, so did he receive the ransom?
The problem with viewing terms like "ransom" and "atonement" too literally is that doing so imprisons God. Basically, it means God cannot forgive sin unless an atonement is made or a ransom paid.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 06, 2007, 12:18:26 AM
Demetrios G

I would not at all disagree with you. But I also do not see how Christ paying for our sins as part of the purpose of his death on the cross is at odds with what you have written.

Totally agreed. Demetrio's explanation is correct, but it is not the only explanation. The fullness of the Atonement, the Mystery of Faith, cannot be limited to one theory (a better term might be "expression" or "representation").
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 06, 2007, 12:28:56 AM
This is the way I view it. The ransom (Christ)is the bait. When Christ offers himself sinless to the devil, the devil didn't know he had a sinless example of a human. the devil took the bait and was bound by doing it. Death was overcome by a sinless example. This is clearly seen when one sees that death is the consequence for sin.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 06, 2007, 12:37:11 AM
This is the way I view it. The ransom (Christ)is the bait. When Christ offers himself sinless to the devil, the devil didn't know he had a sinless example of a human. the devil took the bait and was bound by doing it. Death was overcome by a sinless example. This is clearly seen when one sees that death is the consequence for sin.

I agree. It was a case of deceiving the deceiver. And in the Orthodox Church, we commemorate this on Holy Saturday:

"Today Hades cries out groaning:
I should not have accepted the Man born of Mary.
He came and destroyed my power.
He shattered the gates of brass.
As God. He raised the souls I had held captive.

"Today Hades cries out groaning:
my power has been abolished;
I have received a mortal, as one of the mortals;
but this One, I am completely powerless to contain;
with Him, I have lost all those over which I have ruled. 
For ages I had held them dead;
but behold, He raises them up all.'"
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 06, 2007, 01:33:10 AM
So, again, I ask, to whom was the ransom paid if it is a literal ransom? As St. Gregory says, the one who held us in bondage is the evil one, so did he receive the ransom?
The problem with viewing terms like "ransom" and "atonement" too literally is that doing so imprisons God. Basically, it means God cannot forgive sin unless an atonement is made or a ransom paid.

At least in the usual Catholic understanding, God can do what he wants. He could have remitted all sin freely, but he chose Christ's sacrificial atonement as the way to accomplish it. Anselm thought it was necessary to fulfill the demands of true divine justice, but Abelard and Aquinas and most other Catholic theologians denied it was absolutely necessary.

As for the ransom theory, I thought the Catholic Encyclopedia article had an excellent discussion of it:

The restoration of fallen man was the work of the Incarnate Word. "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19). But the peace of that reconciliation was accomplished by the death of the Divine Redeemer, "making peace through the blood of His cross" (Colossians 1:20). This redemption by death is another mystery, and some of the Fathers in the first ages are led to speculate on its meaning, and to construct a theory in explanation. Here the words and figures used in Holy Scripture help to guide the current of theological thought. Sin is represented as a state of bondage or servitude, and fallen man is delivered by being redeemed, or bought with a price. "For you are bought with a great price" (1 Corinthians 6:20). "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because thou wast slain, and hast redeemed to God, in thy blood" (Revelation 5:9). Looked at in this light, the Atonement appears as the deliverance from captivity by the payment of a ransom. This view is already developed in the second century. "The mighty Word and true Man reasonably redeeming us by His blood, gave Himself a ransom for those who had been brought into bondage. And since the Apostasy unjustly ruled over us, and, whereas we belonged by nature to God Almighty, alienated us against nature and made us his own disciples, the Word of God, being mighty in all things, and failing not in His justice, dealt justly even with the Apostasy itself, buying back from it the things which were His own" (Irenaeus Aversus Haereses V, i). And St. Augustine says in well-known words: "Men were held captive under the devil and served the demons, but they were redeemed from captivity. For they could sell themselves. The Redeemer came, and gave the price; He poured forth his blood and bought the whole world. Do you ask what He bought? See what He gave, and find what He bought. The blood of Christ is the price. How much is it worth? What but the whole world? What but all nations?" (Enarratio in Psalm xcv, n. 5).

It cannot be questioned that this theory also contains a true principle. For it is founded on the express words of Scripture, and is supported by many of the greatest of the early Fathers and later theologians. But unfortunately, at first, and for a long period of theological history, this truth was somewhat obscured by a strange confusion, which would seem to have arisen from the natural tendency to take a figure too literally, and to apply it in details which were not contemplated by those who first made use of it. It must not be forgotten that the account of our deliverance from sin is set forth in figures. Conquest, captivity, and ransom are familiar facts of human history. Man, having yielded to the temptations of Satan, was like to one overcome in battle. Sin, again, is fitly likened to a state of slavery. And when man was set free by the shedding of Christ's precious Blood, this deliverance would naturally recall (even if it had not been so described in Scripture) the redemption of a captive by the payment of a ransom.

But however useful and illuminating in their proper place, figures of this kind are perilous in the hands of those who press them too far, and forget that they are figures. This is what happened here. When a captive is ransomed the price is naturally paid to the conqueror by whom he is held in bondage. Hence, if this figure were taken and interpreted literally in all its details, it would seem that the price of man's ransom must be paid to Satan. The notion is certainly startling, if not revolting. Even if brave reasons pointed in this direction, we might well shrink from drawing the concluslon. And this is in fact so far from being the case that it seems hard to find any rational explanation of such a payment, or any right on which it could be founded. Yet, strange to say, the bold flight of theological speculation was not checked by these misgivings. In the above-cited passage of St. Irenaeus, we read that the Word of God "dealt justly even with the Apostasy itself [i.e. Satan], buying back from it the things which were His own." This curious notion, apparently first mooted by St. Irenaeus, was taken up by Origen in the next century, and for about a thousand years it played a conspicuous part in the history of theology. In the hands of some of the later Fathers and medieval writers, it takes various forms, and some of its more repulsive features are softened or modified. But the strange notion of some right, or claim, on the part of Satan is still present. A protest was raised by St. Gregory of Nazianzus in the fourth century, as might be expected from that most accurate of the patristic theologians. But it was not till St. Anselm and Abelard had met it with unanswerable arguments that its power was finally broken.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 06, 2007, 01:36:28 AM
This is the way I view it. The ransom (Christ)is the bait. When Christ offers himself sinless to the devil, the devil didn't know he had a sinless example of a human. the devil took the bait and was bound by doing it. Death was overcome by a sinless example. This is clearly seen when one sees that death is the consequence for sin.

That's the "mousetrap" theory of Augustine. Again, the endlessly useful Catholic Encyclopedia:

But it is not only in connection with the theory of ransom that we meet with this notion of "rights" on the part of Satan. Some of the Fathers set the matter in a different aspect. Fallen man, it was said, was justly under the dominion of the devil, in punishment for sin. But when Satan brought suffering and death on the sinless Saviour, he abused his power and exceeded his right, so that he was now justly deprived of his dominion over the captives. This explanation is found especially in the sermons of St. Leo and the "Morals" of St. Gregory the Great. Closely allied to this explanation is the singular "mouse-trap" metaphor of St. Augustine. In this daring figure of speech, the Cross is regarded as the trap in which the bait is set and the enemy is caught. "The Redeemer came and the deceiver was overcome. What did our Redeemer do to our Captor? In payment for us He set the trap, His Cross, with His blood for bait. He [Satan] could indeed shed that blood; but he deserved not to drink it. By shedding the blood of One who was not his debtor, he was forced to release his debtors" (Serm. cxxx, part 2).

---

I think this is also very valid as an approach.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 09, 2007, 08:46:58 AM
There are two aspects when determining how the Orthodox view the matter. As St. Gregory stated. There was a ransom and reconciliation. The ransom was to the devil as stated above. The reconciliation was to the father. One must understand that the word reconciliation doesn't imply that it was a forced union as the west sees it. It means a putting together or reuniting.
  To unite the created with the uncreated a sinless example of a human was needed. To see this more clearly we can go back to the Jewish tradition. What exactly were they trying to accomplish with there offering of a blameless lamb. Since there was no sinless human to offer to god they use to deliver up sinless animals in there place. But the animals are not the temple of the holy spirit.  The union of the uncreated and created can only be accomplished with a vessel of the holy spirit. Only through a man can it be accomplished. When the world sent Christ to the cross. They united human nature with the uncreated. It's wasn't to satisfy an angry God.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 09, 2007, 09:52:33 AM
Sigh . . .

(http://www.saulmoran.com/strawman.jpg)

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 09, 2007, 09:56:35 AM
Quote
So, again, I ask, to whom was the ransom paid if it is a literal ransom? As St. Gregory says, the one who held us in bondage is the evil one, so did he receive the ransom?

I think what St. Gregory the Theologian is saying is the nature of the payment is different.  Unlike the story of Abraham and Isaac, it is not God demanding payment.  In other words this is principally an act of self sacrifice (on the part of Christ) to pay the debt of sin brought about by man's initial transgression of his divine justice.  The sacrifice of the son is directed to the father and through this pays the ransom that we ourselves could not fulfill.  To quote the Catechism of St. Philaret again

His voluntary suffering and death on the cross for us, being of infinite value and merit, as the death of one sinless, God and man in one person, is both a perfect satisfaction to the justice of God, which had condemned us for sin to death, and a fund of infinite merit, which has obtained him the right, without prejudice to justice, to give us sinners pardon of our sins, and grace to have victory over sin and death.

Also, notice in one of the previous posts it is being said again that

Quote
The ransom was to the devil as stated above.
.

Something we know can't be the case.

Quote
The problem with viewing terms like "ransom" and "atonement" too literally is that doing so imprisons God. Basically, it means God cannot forgive sin unless an atonement is made or a ransom paid.

I think if you look at them simply as metaphors, then you are immediately led to question the necessity of the crucifixion and resurrection itself.  Why was that necessary?  Couldn't God have forgiven us and abolished death without them?  Theoretically he could have I suppose, but it seems to me that if we stick to what has been shown to us in direct revelation; we see the themes of propitiation, satisfaction and sacrifice are consistent with what we know about God and are amply present in the Bible, the Church Fathers and our cathetical materials.

It seems to me again there is a shift away from what the church has historically said about the Atonement.  I think there are multiple reasons why this is so, and none of them are good.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 09, 2007, 10:07:50 AM
 :o  OK lubeltri. Lets reduce our salvation to an African tribal cult that sacrifices people to an angry god so the volcano doesn't erupt. :D
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 09, 2007, 11:46:03 AM
Quote
Furthermore, the whole sacrificial system of the Old Testament points to the eventual coming of the one perfect sacrifice to pay for sins. For it to be argued that Christ's death was in no sense connected to the legal theory of the law and its transgression and the payment for sin in ancient Judaism, runs agains the entire grain of the New Testament, where Christ is the lamb that is slain. He is Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

The problem with that reasoning is that NOT one lamb sacrificed in the Old Testament broke the gates of Hades. If there was no resurrection, Jesus' death on the cross would be no different than the OT passover.  Our NT Pascha is not the OT Pascha--not by a long shot!

Also, Anselm is wrong because he thinks that Christ's death on the cross ALONE saved us all from God's wrath.  That's impossible because any loving father who finds his son ridiculed and murdered would only enrage him--and indeed, The Father was unhappy when Christ died (Luke 22:44).   Moreover, if God was truly "satisfied", why would it be necessary to punish the Jews in 70 AD? 

But of course, we all know that Christ is risen.  Our Lord Jesus Christ went to Hades--the "Ransom" act--and opened its gates AFTER he died on the cross.  And for this reason, the Father is satisfied.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 09, 2007, 12:04:57 PM
I think if you look at them simply as metaphors, then you are immediately led to question the necessity of the crucifixion and resurrection itself.
I'm not sure we have any choice but to view the word "ransom" as a metaphor. If we don't view it as a metaphor- then the ransom must be paid to the one who holds in bondage, i.e., the one who holds to ransom, or the one who has enslaved.
Why can't you just accept this instead of making some song and dance about how it is "not a metaphor"? Why is it so important to you that it is not a metaphor?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 09, 2007, 12:56:36 PM
I'm not sure we have any choice but to view the word "ransom" as a metaphor. If we don't view it as a metaphor- then the ransom must be paid to the one who holds in bondage, i.e., the one who holds to ransom, or the one who has enslaved.

I don't see it either way, A. simply as a metaphor or B. as payment to someone holding us captive.  I see the ransom as an offering, or propitiation, made on our behalf to God the Father by Christ the Son as a voluntary act to release us from the power of death.  I don't believe it was a ransom paid to the devil or bait put forth to ensnare him.

Quote
Why can't you just accept this instead of making some song and dance about how it is "not a metaphor"? Why is it so important to you that it is not a metaphor?

What's important to understand to me is why it appears that much of what is being purported as the "Orthodox view" seems radically inconsistent with what the church has taught in the past.  It's also important to me to understand why there is a continual need felt by many Orthodox people to continually construct caricatures of the "western view" or to define what they believe in terms of what they oppose in western theology.  All of the above being interrelated I'm sure.

I also was not aware that I am putting forth a "song and dance" here, so much as actually posting writings that are directly related to the topic at hand.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 09, 2007, 03:21:20 PM
Quote
What's important to understand to me is why it appears that much of what is being purported as the "Orthodox view" seems radically inconsistent with what the church has taught in the past.


Your right. The church of the past has always taught us that life eternal is based on communion with Christ. But the Church according to OC net. is teaching us that eternal life belongs to all. ???
The problem is they can't seem to back it up.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: FrChris on April 09, 2007, 03:40:36 PM
But the Church according to OC net. is teaching us that eternal life belongs to all. ???


Are you going on again regarding the Church teaching that:

1. All will be resurrected; but
2. Some to eternal life, and some to eternal death?

John 5:28-29 (an extract from the Funeral Gospel):
Quote
Do not be surprised at this, for the hour is coming when the dead will leave their graves at the sound of his voice: those who did good will come forth to life; and those who did evil will come forth to judgement.

If you're still misunderstanding the Church's teaching, please resurrect the threads dealing with this topic.

Otherwise, please explain clearly what you meant by your last post---I am uncertain of your intent and/or meaning.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 09, 2007, 03:55:15 PM
I'm going to make what I hope are my last contributions to this thread.  It seems to me that:

The priest who was quoted as saying in effect "there is no dogma" surrounding the Atonement was correct.  There seem to be various theories that may or may not be in harmony with each other, and that may or may not have some possibly contradictory themes or propositions.  One quote may seem to openly discount the Atonement as ransom to the Devil, yet others in fact seem to support that it was a ransom to the Devil.  I believe when C.S. Lewis said "Christ's death redeemed man from sin, but I can make nothing of the theories as to how!" regarding the Atonement he made a statement I very much agree with (along with my appreciation and agreement with many things he said).

This seeming lack of dogma does not seem to stop Orthodox apologists from attacking western theology and creating caricatures of what western theology says about the Atonement (even when you can rather easily show them the things they accuse the west of can readily be found in the words of the church fathers or Orthodox catechisms).  In fact many people it seems cannot help themselves in this regard, and I am coming more and more to realize this myopic view may in fact actually represent something that is alive and well in mainstream Orthodoxy.  In other words this base anti-westernism and narrow view of the faith may not be something limited to the margins of the church.  I must admit this realization is rather unsettling.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 09, 2007, 04:06:50 PM
Are you going on again regarding the Church teaching that:

1. All will be resurrected; but
2. Some to eternal life, and some to eternal death?

John 5:28-29 (an extract from the Funeral Gospel):
If you're still misunderstanding the Church's teaching, please resurrect the threads dealing with this topic.

Otherwise, please explain clearly what you meant by your last post---I am uncertain of your intent and/or meaning.

I would like to repeat the thoughts of Metropolitan John Zizioulas again concerning this matter.


The only one that is uncreated and has no beginning is God, The Holy Trinity. Everything else that has its beginning in time is created. Uncreated has it's ontological foundation in being, meaning He is Life, and the only Giver of Life. Everything else that is created has no ontological foundation in itself. But because everything was created out of unbeing (ex nihilo). Unbeing is always present in created as a threat. So everything that has its beginning might have an end, meaning it is finite (limited). Because all that is created, has no ontological foundation in being it must be in communion with someone who has/is, that is only God. With free will we can decide to be or not to be in communion with the uncreated. But death, or end, is something that goes together with creation ex nihilo.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 09, 2007, 04:23:19 PM
A lot of people are making good points here.  Allow me my own personal views.

The definition of Original Sin to me is a curse, a curse caused by Adam's sin falling on all of us, his descendants to have a nature inclined to sin.  When others describe "Original guilt," I've seen the word "guilt" is not taken literally as a result of sin, but as a condition of man's "separateness" from God, a result of the curse, and if that is how it is defined, I see nothing wrong with that.

Well, Christ did get rid of the curse.  I do indeed see Him as a ransom.  But to who or what?

Satan?

To pay something to Satan sounds horrible, but perhaps payment made to Satan can be indeed a "mousetrap," and it's something that I don't object to.  To pay something to Satan is one thing (what St. Gregory objected to), but to pay him while fooling him to his own demise is another.

God?

God is not in need of anything in this at all.  If there's anything God desires, it is something He desires for our own good, not for His.  The language in the OT however makes it interesting.  Incense burning as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God, sacrifices of animals to God, etc.  It is almost as if God is in need of them.  But this should not, nor should it ever be the case.  That is why I reject any language that has anything to do with "robbing His honor and glory," "necessary" salvation for God, or "Infinite Sin."  If sin was so evil to God, man would have become easily vanished to non-existence, and we would have Sin being an equal and second God, a gnostic dualism.  At the same time, the "wrath of God" should not be taken literally either, as if God is swayed in anthropological emotions.  In fact, I pretty much hold to the idea that "love" and "wrath" are pretty much the same thing in God, in terms of how we react.  I like the analogy of the hell/heaven distinction that some fathers give, that both are filled with Divine Fire, where the saints in heaven are like metal, glowing and reflecting the Divine Light and Heat, whereas the condemned in Hell are like wood and impurities, burning and being destroyed to ashes when exposed to the same Divine Power.

This is not to say God is impersonal, but that His tripersonal nature, along with the incarnation of the Second Person, makes God more than just a "force," but Personal in the truest sense, with a person being sacrificial in the greatest manner.  Christ portrays the Father's wrath is much imagery, you can't help but allow the continuation of describing God in anthropological terms.  And at the same time, He portrays the Trinity's sacrificial nature.  The Father loving the world sacrificing His Only Son, the Son sacrificing Himself for us and in obedience to the Father, and the Holy Spirit, sacrificially allowing Himself to be least mentioned and even prayed to, and in unity with us, prays with us, even though we should pray to Him, in order for us to be in communion with the Trinity.

Therefore, one cannot help but notice that Christ indeed paid something to God, to His obedience, to lift His wrath and magnify His mercy towards us, understood in a manner not like man, but a manner in which the curse is lifted, and in the sacrificial Love Christ has to the Father, as the Father has to God.  He truly paid the price of God's wrath, by destroying sin, so that we don't have to feel that "Loving Wrath."  Christ paid God's Love.

Man?

A price was given to man too, and we continually use this price in the Eucharist, for the sake of being in continual unity with God.  And yet this price is too expensive for something cheap.  For our mere sins that doesn't do anything to God or require necessity with God, God freely pays an Infinite Sacrifice.  It's like paying all you've got for an eraser to erase all the filth on a piece of paper.  Oh the Love of God!

And since we are persons, we too pay back with sacrificial self-renunciation to God, even though God is in no need of anything.  God paid to us Love, and we pay back with more Love.  He gave us talents, and we increase them.

The Law?

Here's something you don't hear everyday.  The fulfillment of the Law.  As the Law requires, it probably prophetically proclaims, and thus, Christ came fulfilling that Law.  The Law was also a curse, as it was abused by the Devil.  Thus, really, if ransom really was truly paid, it was paid to consistently fulfill what the Law required, so that we may not be in need of the Law.  For God made the Law for man, and not for Himself so that man may achieve righteousness in God's eyes, and Satan used the Law to fulfill his own desires to destroy man.  Therefore, really, the Law provided a divine discipline, but also a curse.

I think also this undermines the most important part which Theognosis tries to make.  The ultimate reality behind all of this is that the power of death is destroyed.  None of the OT lambs rose from the dead as did Christ.  However, I like to stress that the OT lambs did take away the sins of whoever sacrificed or presented it.  In the case of Christ, all of the world's mankind have done both present and sacrificed God, represented on both sides, Jews and Gentiles, male and female, slave and free.  Therefore almost in a stepwise fashion, sins taken away, then reconciliation, then unity, then partaking of divine nature, which ultimately is what was the goal, kinda like what St. Isaac the Syrian once said, that the Incarnation of Christ was going happen regardless or not of Adam's sin.  It is this added aspect of ransom that God saw it necessary for man if man is to indeed partake of His nature.

God bless.

PS  The Resurrection of all is a central dogma in any church, even the OO's.  I cannot see how anyone can say that only the righteous will rise from the dead on the Day of Judgment.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 09, 2007, 05:33:53 PM
What an insane thread. Not only for all the convert bashing but also for the anti-Westernism. Anselm isn't the West - he represents a certain school of thought within 11th c. French speaking Latin literate Norman England. He isn't representative of Humanity, Christianity, the West, England, Western Rite, people from Canterbury, or humans alive in the 11th c. His theology is not (and never has been) universally accepted in 'the West' as the norm. Sure - some may say so, but only to serve their purposes (ie, to say all Westerners should belong to their sect, or to place suspicion upon all Westerners.) So how long must we tolerate such evil words about Orthodox Christians (converts all, and many Westerners)?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 09, 2007, 06:31:35 PM
What an insane thread. Not only for all the convert bashing but also for the anti-Westernism. Anselm isn't the West - he represents a certain school of thought within 11th c. French speaking Latin literate Norman England. He isn't representative of Humanity, Christianity, the West, England, Western Rite, people from Canterbury, or humans alive in the 11th c. His theology is not (and never has been) universally accepted in 'the West' as the norm. Sure - some may say so, but only to serve their purposes (ie, to say all Westerners should belong to their sect, or to place suspicion upon all Westerners.) So how long must we tolerate such evil words about Orthodox Christians (converts all, and many Westerners)?

This is what I don't get.
Any time anyone questions a particular view of soteriology, such as the literal interpretation of Christ as "ransom", they are "convert bashing" or "anti-Western"....Why? 
If a particular doctrinal interpretation has holes in it, it has holes in it if it is "Western", "Eastern", "Northern" or "Southern".
And if it is not the "universally accepted" Western view, then why should someone who is merely questioning it's correctness be accused of being "anti-Western" or "convert bashing"? Do only Western coverts hold these views?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 09, 2007, 07:23:04 PM
This is what I don't get.
Any time anyone questions a particular view of soteriology, such as the literal interpretation of Christ as "ransom", they are "convert bashing" or "anti-Western"....Why? 
If a particular doctrinal interpretation has holes in it, it has holes in it if it is "Western", "Eastern", "Northern" or "Southern".
And if it is not the "universally accepted" Western view, then why should someone who is merely questioning it's correctness be accused of being "anti-Western" or "convert bashing"? Do only Western coverts hold these views?

Well, I seem to get the same vibe from many Orthodox Christians.  The Triple A attack (Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas), the scholastic label, and the traditional Western label of Protestants and Roman Catholics as espousers of such views.

If it has "holes," then these are the merits, but if the "holes" are somehow attributable to the West, then Orthodox Christians will use that as a thorn to further their "Orthodox" cause.

Xristos Anesti!
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 09, 2007, 07:29:18 PM
Quote
And if it is not the "universally accepted" Western view, then why should someone who is merely questioning it's correctness be accused of being "anti-Western" or "convert bashing"? Do only Western coverts hold these views?

Yeah, let me know when someone is criticizing it without the bashing of the West or converts. Do Western converts hold those views? No - so why does the discussion always have to include convert-bashing and anti-Westernism? So far, I've seen no one 'merely questioning' without the double-barrel shot at converts and the West. Like minas says, discuss the holes - 'converts' aren't the cause of either side (and both sides have been using that one - converts as destroyers of tradition), nor is it attributable to the 'West' as a characteristic (again, Byzantium is the West.)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 09, 2007, 07:41:40 PM
I don't believe it was a ransom paid to the devil or bait put forth to ensnare him.
And I agree with you. All I'm saying is that a literal interpretation of the concept of "ransom" does not permit one to hold this view.
I think that the fact that we were "bought at a price" is a testimony to God's love for us, and it is the way He chose to save us by Divine Economia so that "when I (Christ) am lifted up (on the Cross), I will draw all men to Myself." But I also think that God's infinite love and mercy does not require that a "payment" be made for sin. Christ said: "This is my Blood of the new Covenant which is shed for many to (Gk: "εις") the forgiveness of sin."  To interpret this as saying "in order that sins may be forgiven" in the sense that sins can only be forgiven if someone suffers and dies in "payment" for them or accepts the "punishment" due for them is, in my view, erroneous. Our sins are forgiven because God is merciful, not because He has been paid off like some mafia boss given protection money.

What's important to understand to me is why it appears that much of what is being purported as the "Orthodox view" seems radically inconsistent with what the church has taught in the past. 
I'm not sure that it is radically different from what the Church has taught in the past. What seems radically different is that some view concepts meant as metaphors as meant to be taken literally- something which the Fathers did not do.

It's also important to me to understand why there is a continual need felt by many Orthodox people to continually construct caricatures of the "western view" or to define what they believe in terms of what they oppose in western theology.
I think what they are reacting against is the misinterpretation of metaphors as literal doctrine. The fact is that many today think that "God cannot forgive sin unless something bleeds".  I myself have come accross this many times, not only in my Catholic and Protestant friends, but some Orthodox as well. The fact is that this view is absent in Eastern soteriology, since our salvation came about by the "Divine Economia" of the Incarnation.

was not aware that I am putting forth a "song and dance" here, so much as actually posting writings that are directly related to the topic at hand.
What I am asking is: why is it so important that no one question the literal interpretation of our redemption as being the payment of a ransom? When you said:
Yes, that is the question.
Yet, if what you say is true, there is no ransom.  Yet, clearly there is a ransom that was paid by Christ on our behalf.  But to whom?
It seems to me there is only one possibility.
It seems to me that the words "clearly there is a ransom that was paid by Christ on our behalf"  leaves no room except for a literal interpretation of "ransom" to mean a payment given to God without which He could not forgive our sin. If I misunderstood, I apologise. But if this is what you meant to say, I could not disagree more.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 09, 2007, 07:59:45 PM
The fact is that this view is absent in Eastern soteriology, since our salvation came about by the "Divine Economia" of the Incarnation.

I think what you are in essence is saying correctly about God, but God commanded that forgiveness of sins cannot be except without the shedding of blood, according to St. Paul to the Hebrews, or at least God desires that it must be done in that fashion, even though He can do it in other ways.

What exactly is absent in "Eastern" soteriology?  Why do we stress "Eastern" so much?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 09, 2007, 08:05:44 PM
What exactly is absent in "Eastern" soteriology?  Why do we stress "Eastern" so much?

Exactly what I've been asking - and have since perennial rambler brought it up on his blog. The fact is that the language (ransom, atonement, etc.) is not absent from the Scriptures, Liturgy, or Church Fathers. So 'absent' seems a bit strong. Rather, I've had Orthodox clergy explain not that it is 'absent' but simply that it is error to make that the *only* metaphor of what happens, or even to focus on it. Stressing the 'Eastern' is the apophatic way of smearing the West. ;) Of course, Eastern theology includes such luminaries as Arius, Eutyches and Nestorius - which is why the East is always better than the West (with its 'rank heretics' like St. Ambrose, St. Hilary, St. Gregory, St. John Cassian, etc.) ;)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 09, 2007, 08:19:30 PM
What exactly is absent in "Eastern" soteriology?  Why do we stress "Eastern" so much?

Because Eastern theology has maintained the Orthodox Christian view of redemption. Whereas the "Western" view has been typified by the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and are different. See:Summa Theologica: Q48 The efficiency of Christ's Passion (http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4048.htm)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 09, 2007, 08:32:14 PM
Quote
Because Eastern theology has maintained the Orthodox Christian view of redemption. Whereas the "Western" view has been typified by the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and are different. See:Summa Theologica: Q48 The efficiency of Christ's Passion

Eastern theology is also Arian, Nestorian, and Eutychian - as well as many other heresies. However, Aquinas' views were never universal in Western Christianity - in fact, still many today in the West (not just Western Orthodox, but even Traditional Catholics, Anglicans, Methodist Episcopalians, etc.) complain of the Aristotlean nature of Aquinas School and prefer the older Western neo-Platonism (a modern term referring to Patristic Christianity.) So, again - Western isn't Thomistic, Eastern isn't Orthodox: Orthodox can be Eastern or Western just as heresies may be Eastern or Western. The penal satisfaction theory isn't 'Western', though it is an error of focus and emphasis based upon language and understandings that *do* exist in the Orthodox Tradition (Scriptures and Patristics.) I'd like to be able to stop repeating it - but the West *never* has been entirely Thomistic, nor entirely Anselmian.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 09, 2007, 08:55:12 PM
Because Eastern theology has maintained the Orthodox Christian view of redemption. Whereas the "Western" view has been typified by the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and are different. See:Summa Theologica: Q48 The efficiency of Christ's Passion (http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4048.htm)

That's exactly the problem with many Orthodox.  It's not so much as they're holding a patristic view, but a prideful Patriotic view, almost as if if was phyletic in nature.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 09, 2007, 10:26:11 PM
What seems radically different is that some view concepts meant as metaphors as meant to be taken literally- something which the Fathers did not do.
I think what they are reacting against is the misinterpretation of metaphors as literal doctrine.

I have already posted excerpts from the Catholic Encyclopedia stating that an overliteral interpretation of "ransom" is a serious error, one that Anselm, Lombard and Aquinas fought against themselves. Anselm, instead, saw it as satisfying the divine justice. Lombard and Aquinas, and pretty much most Catholic theologians afterward, however, have disagreed with Anselm that the divine justice HAD to be satisfied, that the Atonement WAS necessary. It wasn't, but God chose it to be the conduit of his mercy (so, in that context, for us, it is necessary). And it conforms to reason that justice must be done---God is a pretty sensible God, not to mention an incredibly loving one.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Ian Lazarus on April 10, 2007, 12:23:55 AM
My father confessor says it the best I think. " Many of the fathers writings about theology are, no matter the legnth, saying 'I dont know.'"  His point is, we have to look at things through the eyes of Grace.  If we look at such vague issues without forgiveness or with a heart ready to condemn, then we are setting ourselves up for hurtin, killing, and eliminating in the name of a vaguery.  It is fine to debate it, but if this issue is the hinge on which your theological structure rests, then it's best to get a better hinge, because it's flimsy.  Mainly I say this as it relates to the mind of God.  We dont know it in toto.  And when we think we do, other than what he has revealed to us solidly, we get in trouble.  And even then, if we get hung up, we only throw obstacles in the way of our salvation, becoming downright pharasaical about a busness that we dont know fully.  We can agree on some things.  If a person does not believe in the Crucufixion and  Resurection of Jesus Christ our God, then he is not a Christian but a philosopher.  But how this process of salvation by the Cross is accomplished, I'll ask God when  I get there.  It bears no weight on my salvation. 

Peace

Lazarus
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 07:05:28 AM
Eastern theology is also Arian, Nestorian, and Eutychian - as well as many other heresies.
Has the East maintained Orthodoxy or not?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 10, 2007, 09:10:56 AM
Only parts of the East - parts of the East have maintained heresy (Nestorianism, for instance.) And for 'maintained' - there were times when the East didn't, and the continuity of Orthodoxy continued in the West until the East recovered Orthodoxy (such as during Iconoclasm.) Either way, Orthodoxy exists in the West - not just as an 'Eastern import', and much that is heretical in the West is also an Eastern import. More importantly, much of Western Christianity that is Orthodox was maintained in the West as well (even if ever so much in the minority.)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 10, 2007, 09:15:54 AM
Quote
Orthodoxy exists in the West

Not according to what is being said here.  The right and legitimate view is apparently the Eastern one.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 10, 2007, 09:41:07 AM
Quote
Not according to what is being said here.  The right and legitimate view is apparently the Eastern one.

Well, they'll have to have a Council then to condemn the West: then everyone in the West can be anathematized. A canon can be drawn up describing which degree of longitude separates 'East' from 'West' and everyone West of that line will be cut off. Sounds like grand fun. (And those who want to be Nestorian can clap their hands for joy - they're Eastern, and thus back in!)  ::) Islam is Eastern too (as is Judaism - Oriental and Ashkenazic) - also Mandaeanism, Yezidism, Druze. Hooray for East!  ;D
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 09:51:39 AM
Not according to what is being said here. The right and legitimate view is apparently the Eastern one.
Please feel free to accuse me of something openly rather than make "general" comments.
Now let me say something openly to you:
Whether you like it or not, East and West are in Schism- and not just any schism, but one which has come to be called "The Great Schism". Nowhere have I suggested that the Church prior to the Great Schism was not one. Nowhere have I suggested that when the Church was one that Orthodoxy was not maintained in the West. But the reality is (much as you seem to wish to deny it) is that the Church is no longer One in East and West.
So despite your snide comments, and despite your's and aristibule's attempts to rest your arguments on the fact that the Western part of the Church was once Orthodox (which no one is arguing, so I fail to see your point in setting up a straw man about it- unless of course, you don't have a better point, which I suspect may be the case), and despite the futile attempts to suggest that the East did not maintain Orthodoxy as "evidenced" by the Nestorians and other heresies which were anathemised and have schismed from the Orthodox Church (which if you think about it about it, makes about as much sense as stating that the existence of Lutheranism "proves" the unorthodoxy of the Roman Catholic Church).......Despite all this, and despite the attempts to suggest that my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is phyletism simply because, post schism, this Church existed only in the "East" (which includes more countries than any of us will probably ever visit in our lifetime, so to suggest that it is "phyletism" which literally means "tribalism" is laughable)....despite all this rudeness, false accusation, misrepresentation, these moot points...not once have I ever said anything "anti-convert" or even "anti-west", I simply pointed out the differences, and stated my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church- and I've said before, that if you disagree with me, that's fine, I respect that. But don't you ever dare to suggest that my belief is based solely on a form of "phyletism".
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 10, 2007, 11:08:01 AM
What an insane thread. Not only for all the convert bashing but also for the anti-Westernism. Anselm isn't the West - he represents a certain school of thought within 11th c. French speaking Latin literate Norman England. He isn't representative of Humanity, Christianity, the West, England, Western Rite, people from Canterbury, or humans alive in the 11th c. His theology is not (and never has been) universally accepted in 'the West' as the norm. Sure - some may say so, but only to serve their purposes (ie, to say all Westerners should belong to their sect, or to place suspicion upon all Westerners.) So how long must we tolerate such evil words about Orthodox Christians (converts all, and many Westerners)?

Nobody is bashing the west. I have just displayed some differences between there theology's. Your taking it to personal. You stated that Anselm isn't the west. But yet your sticking to your guns that it can be Incorporated into the eastern church. It's pretty obvious that it really has no place there.
  If Anselm is what brought you to Christ that that's fine.  Chances are his view has brought many to the church. The whole point is to move on. The eastern church isn't static. It's life breathing. St John Chistostoma stated that are three ways to god. First is the fear of hell, the allure of heaven and finally the love of Christ. Orthodoxy is the love of Christ and clearly is different than the rest because it isn't centered in pride. I hope you can see this.

 
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 10, 2007, 11:14:29 AM
Quote
Orthodoxy is the love of Christ and clearly is different than the rest because it isn't centered in pride.

One of the most ironic statements I have come across in a while.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 10, 2007, 11:24:56 AM
I think it's wrong to say that Redemption is an unexplainable issue that ends with "I don't know."  I think Fr. John Romanides put it best, even though he may take an extreme anti-Western pov, when he said that it would be a shame if a doctor would fight a mysterious disease.

Here's something that I'm reading at the moment:

http://www.romanitas.ru/eng/The%20Mystery%20of%20Redemption.htm

And here's Fr. John Romanides' article:

http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.10.en.original_sin_according_to_st._paul.01.htm

If anyone else can present articles, more quotes from Holy Fathers, and more new perspectives, it would be nice to use these as resources to study the situation more and be better equipped to debate the issue.

God bless.

Xristos Anesti!
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 10, 2007, 11:29:39 AM
Please feel free to accuse me of something openly rather than make "general" comments.
Now let me say something openly to you:
Whether you like it or not, East and West are in Schism- and not just any schism, but one which has come to be called "The Great Schism". Nowhere have I suggested that the Church prior to the Great Schism was not one. Nowhere have I suggested that when the Church was one that Orthodoxy was not maintained in the West. But the reality is (much as you seem to wish to deny it) is that the Church is no longer One in East and West.
So despite your snide comments, and despite your's and aristibule's attempts to rest your arguments on the fact that the Western part of the Church was once Orthodox (which no one is arguing, so I fail to see your point in setting up a straw man about it- unless of course, you don't have a better point, which I suspect may be the case), and despite the futile attempts to suggest that the East did not maintain Orthodoxy as "evidenced" by the Nestorians and other heresies which were anathemised and have schismed from the Orthodox Church (which if you think about it about it, makes about as much sense as stating that the existence of Lutheranism "proves" the unorthodoxy of the Roman Catholic Church).......Despite all this, and despite the attempts to suggest that my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is phyletism simply because, post schism, this Church existed only in the "East" (which includes more countries than any of us will probably ever visit in our lifetime, so to suggest that it is "phyletism" which literally means "tribalism" is laughable)....despite all this rudeness, false accusation, misrepresentation, these moot points...not once have I ever said anything "anti-convert" or even "anti-west", I simply pointed out the differences, and stated my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church- and I've said before, that if you disagree with me, that's fine, I respect that. But don't you ever dare to suggest that my belief is based solely on a form of "phyletism".

Christ is Risen!

George, Your honesty and knowledge of Orthodoxy is very evident. You are a clear articulator of the faith.

I do not understand why some want to pretend there is no Great Schism.  ???

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 10, 2007, 11:35:42 AM
Nobody has been in this thread.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 10, 2007, 11:41:55 AM
Dear Lubeltri or Papist,

What is the RC view of "infinite sin?"  I never found anything in their catechism about it.  Do you have theologians who disagree with the concept?

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 10, 2007, 11:45:46 AM
Nobody is bashing the west. I have just displayed some differences between there theology's. 

Orthodoxy is the love of Christ and clearly is different than the rest because it isn't centered in pride. I hope you can see this.

What an ironic statement!

If you could refrain from creating straw men of "Western" theology, we might have a discussion here. But since you and several others persist in the stereotypes, it's time I left this thread. I feel very, very blessed that I don't have to deal with this kind of strident and very (IMO) uncatholic Anti-doxy on a daily basis. Part of what kept me from entering Orthodoxy, I'm afraid to say, was this incessant refrain I heard from many that "we're not like them." It didn't seem like there was a place in Orthodoxy for a Westerner like me---or at least, many Orthodox don't want it that way.

I have in my hand a brochure put out by St. Justin Martyr Orthodox Church (OCA) in Jacksonville, Florida. It's titled What Ever [sic] Happened to the New Testament Church? Does the Church Peter and Paul worshipped still exist? Come and see!

Inside they have a Church History Snapshot:

- The Church was undivided for the first 1000 years.
- in 1054 the Roman pope "excommunicated" the Orthodox for not accepting his claim to universal headship of the Church.
- in 1517 the Protestant Reformation began against the Roman Church
- According to the United Nations there are now more than 23,000 Protestant denominations worldwide
- the structure, teachings, and worship of the New Testament Church remains unchanged in the Orthodox Church.
- Christ said, "The gates of hell shall never prevail against His Church" [sic] (Matthew 16:16)

Worldwide Orthodoxy is divided only administratively by region and culture. Doctrinally and in practice each church is identical and in full communion with each other.

Orthodoxy has been the last stop for thousands of American Christians looking for a spiritual home where doctrine doesn't change with each new pastor or the latest trend.


I'll spare you the comical and frankly dishonest "Time Line of Christian History" also in the brochure. What was the brochure for, other than to steel sheep instead of evangelize the unchurched, a more difficult but more fruitful task?

Blessings,

Lubeltri
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 11:55:46 AM
Quote
Orthodoxy is the love of Christ and clearly is different than the rest because it isn't centered in pride.
One of the most ironic statements I have come across in a while.

Is this the best you can do welkodox? Yet another snide one-liner? And this time, a one-liner which writes off the entire Apostolic Tradition? I really don't think you are listening to other people. Rather than immediately biting their finger, why don't you look where they are pointing?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 10, 2007, 11:59:38 AM
I agree. It was a case of deceiving the deceiver. And in the Orthodox Church, we commemorate this on Holy Saturday:

"Today Hades cries out groaning:
I should not have accepted the Man born of Mary.
He came and destroyed my power.
He shattered the gates of brass.
As God. He raised the souls I had held captive.

"Today Hades cries out groaning:
my power has been abolished;
I have received a mortal, as one of the mortals;
but this One, I am completely powerless to contain;
with Him, I have lost all those over which I have ruled. 
For ages I had held them dead;
but behold, He raises them up all.'"

George,

During Holy Week I listened carefully to all the hymns and prayers. The theme which was very clear was that Christ came to destroy death and heal us.  I don't remember singing any hymns about the wrath of God or His demand for Divine Justice. I have always been taught that there is no official catechism of the Orthodox Church because regular attendance of the  Liturgical services provide our catechism.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 10, 2007, 12:04:31 PM
What an ironic statement!

If you could refrain from creating straw men of "Western" theology, we might have a discussion here. But since you and several others persist in the stereotypes, it's time I left this thread. I feel very, very blessed that I don't have to deal with this kind of strident and very (IMO) uncatholic Anti-doxy on a daily basis. Part of what kept me from entering Orthodoxy, I'm afraid to say, was this incessant refrain I heard from many that "we're not like them." It didn't seem like there was a place in Orthodoxy for a Westerner like me---or at least, many Orthodox don't want it that way.

Hay pal. It was you who posted a strawman as a counter to my post. In other words you want us to sweep our theology under the rug and accept you as is. Good luck.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Asteriktos on April 10, 2007, 12:05:11 PM
But to be fair, both Catholics and Orthodox fudge the truth when it comes to Church history, so it's really both sides that need to step up to the plate here. Easterners can sometimes have an anti-western bias, but both sides often have an anti-early-church bias. Division is convenient to bring up when it makes your group look better, but usually the countless divisions in the early Church--some including hundreds of clergy and millions of people--are left alongside the road, ignored. I've seen the timeline of which you are speaking, and if they were as critical of eastern history (e.g., all the breakoffs mentioned by Ireneaus, split after the so-called 3rd ecumenical council, after so-called 4th ecumenical council, etc.) it would have been a lot more honest. But like I said, both sides ignore what doesn't make them look good. (For an example of Catholic bias--or lack of real research--when in the middle of a debate/discussion with Protestants, I've yet to hear a Catholic admit that Jerome rejected the deuterocanonical books from his canon, but I hear lots about how the Church supposedly settled the issue before Jerome's translation... in other words, everyone says that which makes them look good).
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 10, 2007, 12:10:25 PM
Dear Lubeltri or Papist,

What is the RC view of "infinite sin?"  I never found anything in their catechism about it. 

I don't really know, actually. I've only heard the phrase in Protestant circles. I'd have to do some real research on it (Googling it was utterly fruitless) or ask somebody more knowledgeable than me.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 10, 2007, 12:16:48 PM
But to be fair, both Catholics and Orthodox fudge the truth when it comes to Church history, so it's really both sides that need to step up to the plate here. Easterners can sometimes have an anti-western bias, but both sides often have an anti-early-church bias. Division is convenient to bring up when it makes your group look better, but usually the countless divisions in the early Church--some including hundreds of clergy and millions of people--are left alongside the road, ignored. I've seen the timeline of which you are speaking, and if they were as critical of eastern history (e.g., all the breakoffs mentioned by Ireneaus, split after the so-called 3rd ecumenical council, after so-called 4th ecumenical council, etc.) it would have been a lot more honest. But like I said, both sides ignore what doesn't make them look good. (For an example of Catholic bias--or lack of real research--when in the middle of a debate/discussion with Protestants, I've yet to hear a Catholic admit that Jerome rejected the deuterocanonical books from his canon, but I hear lots about how the Church supposedly settled the issue before Jerome's translation... in other words, everyone says that which makes them look good).

You are correct. The Church spoke the final word on the deuterocanonicals only at Trent. But I do know what you are talking about---some Catholics I know like to tell Protestants that the Church "wrote your Bible" and leave it at that, self-satisfied.

(Regarding the timeline, I love how it shows the monolithic Orthodox line punctuated with dates like 1794: Orthodox missionaries arrive in Alaska and 1988: 1,000 years of Orthodox Christianity in Russia while the Western spider web of lines is punctuated with dates showing the Crusades and other upheavals. The line labeled the "Protestant Church" was also amusing.)

Now I will take my leave, until I get an answer for Mina's question.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 12:18:28 PM
everyone says that which makes them look good.
That's probably true, but I'm not sure I understand your point about how the schisms in the early Church not being mentioned constitutes an "early church bias" by anyone. Are you talking abut doctrinal disputes which did not result in schism? If so, I'd say these started with St. Paul's dispute with St. Peter over the gentile question. I don't think anyone has avoided looking at doctrinal disputes- this thread certainly hasn't. Nor do I think that schism is "not mentioned" in order to "look good", in fact, I'd say the opposite is true- schism and anathemizing heresy is how the Church has always defined her doctrines, and she has always used heresy as a way of defining what she holds true as compared to what she holds to be false.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 10, 2007, 12:18:42 PM
The statement that "The Orthodox Church is not based on pride" is a prideful statement.  The irony is right there, and it is not a matter of snideness.  It is simply a matter of pointing out the obvious.  It's like saying "I am incredibly humble".  It is simply given a further level of irony when juxtaposed with this thread.

At its heart to me, this thread is simply an illustration of a kind of mindset that has taken an unfortunate hold in many places.  lubeltri righly calls it the anti mindset.  It's not only standing in opposition to the west, it becomes ironically again something that stands in opposition to the past of the church itself.  So when it's said "we have no catechisms" or "you will not find the satisfaction theory in their writings" how can we not but appear but absurd when it turns out these things are absolutely true.  Yet there is a desire to press on with an obstinate refusal to deal with the reality of what is there.  Whether this is to make Orthodoxy attractive to converts as the "church that opposes that other church", or is a way to further retreat in to our own Orthodox shell and ignore everyone else is beyond me.

I will say I'm thankful my real world experiences in the church are in almost all cases absolutely nothing like what I read online.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 10, 2007, 12:36:09 PM
So when it's said "we have no catechisms" or "you will not find the satisfaction theory in their writings" how can we not but appear but absurd when it turns out these things are absolutely true. 
Christ is Risen!

Andrew,

There are various catechisms written by a variety of Orthodox but there is no one "official" catechism for the Orthodox church. If you don't believe me go and try to find it. By the way, I looked at the catechism of Greek priest you provided and I could not find any official endorsement by any synod for it. It appears to be his own work. Our liturgical texts and hymns provide us with our catechism. It had to be that way because the Fathers of the church did not want the illiterate to be ignorant of the faith. We (laity) are the royal priesthood and the guardian of the faith.  These services are the voice of the church. If you listen carefully, you will absorb the teachings of our church over time. Then you will be able to discern the truth from the fads you fear.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 12:38:23 PM
I will say I'm thankful my real world experiences in the church are in almost all cases absolutely nothing like what I read online.
That's fine. But you're just going to have to accept the fact that in 40 years as an Orthodox Christian, I have never come across any reference in any Liturgical Service to the "satisfaction" view of redemption. That's my real world experience.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 10, 2007, 01:03:41 PM
There are various catechisms written by a variety of Orthodox but there is no one "official" catechism for the Orthodox church. If you don't believe me go and try to find it.

One that I have quoted from in this thread is the Longer Catechism of St. Philaret of Moscow that bears the following statement

"Examined and Approved by the Most Holy Governing Synod, and Published for the Use of Schools, and of all Orthodox Christians, by Order of His Imperial Majesty. (Moscow, at the Synodical Press, 1830.)"

http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

While technically you may be correct that for instance this was not put out by the entire church, do you suppose the faith of the Romanian Church is different than what was approved of by the Holy Synod of the Russian Church?

The one thing that does approach a catechism covering all churches are the Acts and Decrees 1672 Synod of Jerusalem.  http://catholicity.elcore.net/ConfessionOfDositheus.html  It was described IIRC by Metropolitan Kallistos in his book "The Orthodox Church" as the most important post schism Pan Orthodox synod.  It's acts and decrees very much resemble what a catechism is intended to do, although not in the simplified Q&A format of a true catechism.  The real point is it is an authoritative statement on the faith.

Quote
By the way, I looked at the catechism of Greek priest you provided and I could not find any official endorsement by any synod for it. It appears to be his own work.

Similar then to the work that was the nexus of this thread, although it seems with contradictory propositions.

Quote
Our liturgical texts and hymns provide us with our catechism.

While I would never discount the importance of the liturgy as the living expression of the church, I don't think we would be so naive as to assume they are the only deposit of faith or our only tool for learning about it.  That is why catechisms and other materials have been and will be produced.

Quote
If you listen carefully, you will absorb the teachings of our church over time. Then you will be able to discern the truth from the fads you fear.

It's interesting, because when I read these words I detect a rather patronizing tone.  Oh well, such is the Internet.

I have indeed listened to and participated in the divine services, though I haven't limited myself to comprehending the faith based on them.  This is an interesting point, because I think some people do assume others such as their children will pick up the faith almost through osmosis, and take no active interest in looking at it more deeply.  That I believe is a mistake.

The fads I fear are the re-invention of Orthodoxy as the alternative to the western church, which much of what I'm reading is further evidence of.  Considering I don't think I've quoted a writing newer than the 19th century, I hope one thing it would appear I am not doing is following a fad.  It would seem to me critically examining the claims being made about what the Orthodox church has actually said in the past is counter to the current fads.

ozgeorge

Quote
That's fine. But you're just going to have to accept the fact that in 40 years as an Orthodox Christian, I have never come across any reference in any Liturgical Service to the "satisfaction" view of redemption. That's my real world experience.

Which I wouldn't argue with.  Looking in the writings from the past do bring to light that some church fathers and theologians view this as a legitimate aspect of the Atonement however.  One would not even need to be Orthodox at all to recognize this.

We claim to be a church consistent with the past, and I have seen Orthodox Christians rather pridefully tell Catholics they have not stayed consistent.  Yet here we are, with people people ignoring our past or writing things in flat contradiction of them.  We need to be honest and come to terms with where we aren't consistent - whether it's the Atonement, Primacy, Original Sin or contraception.  Burying our heads and living in denial will not work.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 01:15:24 PM
We claim to be a church consistent with the past, and I have seen Orthodox Christians rather pridefully tell Catholics they have not stayed consistent.  Yet here we are, with people people ignoring our past or writing things in flat contradiction of them.  We need to be honest and come to terms with where we aren't consistent - whether it's the Atonement, Primacy, Original Sin or contraception.  Burying our heads and living in denial will not work.

Welkodox, by this argument, in order to be "consistent", the Orthodox Church should accept apokatastasis as an "Orthodox doctrine" since St. Gregory of Nyssa (whom no one could say is not a Father of the Church) stated that the fire of hell is purifying and therefore not eternal in On the Soul and the Resurrection and in the Catechetical Oration.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 01:22:10 PM
Gee I wish now that I hadn't used the example of apokatastasis.....
I sure hope GiC isn't reading this thread!
(http://www.gardenclub.net/Images/Can_of_worms.jpg)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 10, 2007, 01:28:48 PM
Welkodox, by this argument, in order to be "consistent", the Orthodox Church should accept apokatastasis as an "Orthodox doctrine" since St. Gregory of Nyssa (whom no one could say is not a Father of the Church) stated that the fire of hell is purifying and therefore not eternal in On the Soul and the Resurrection and in the Catechetical Oration.

I would agree if his view was:

Repeated in multiple other writings of church fathers.
Present in official encylicals or synodal statements.
In the official publications released by the church as as catechisms or other instruction in the faith.

Otherwise I think it's an apples and oranges comparison.  It would however I think be mistaken by the same token to say "no where in the writings of the Eastern Fathers is there support for the apokatastasis", because clearly there is.  Now, obviously that in and of itself does not prove anything other than somebody has articulated the belief.  Then you go look for the supporting evidence in the types of things I mentioned above.

That's what I mean about being consistent with the past.  I've seen people write on the Internet "Orthodoxy hasn't changed".  Yet we have changed, and are changing.  It's happening before our eyes.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 02:28:12 PM
That's what I mean about being consistent with the past.  I've seen people write on the Internet "Orthodoxy hasn't changed".  Yet we have changed, and are changing.  It's happening before our eyes.
I've repeatedly quoted examples on various threads in this forum where the Orthodox Church has changed (my favourites include "Canon 101 of the 6th EC", usury, Deaconesses etc.). So why are you telling me this? Is it because you find it exasperating? If so, I can understand. But I hope you can understand that I find it exasperating to hear people on the internet claim to speak for the Orthodox Church and tell her what she should believe simply because the Fathers disagree on certain issues. The "daily dogmatic voice" of the Church is not the Internet; it's not even the writing of the Fathers who, as we know, have disagreed on issues. The daily dogmatic voice of the Orthodox Church is the daily cycle of her Liturgical Services where each prayer, ode, kontakion, troparion etc. is a mini homily. And there is nothing in this daily dogmatic voice of the Church which supports the notion of "penal satisfaction". And I don't just mean the Divine Liturgy, I mean the Triodion, Pentecostarion, Menaion, or any liturgical book. I can find references in the Liturgical Services to the dogmas about Icons, about the Two Natures, about the title "Theotokos", the Incarnation, the Divine Economia...etc..., but why would there not be any reference in the Liturgical Services to "penal satisfaction" if this truly were supposed to be an acceptable view of our redemption?
So, is this what you wish to change in the Orthodox Church? That she should start including the view of Penal Satisfaction in her liturgical services? You would have to accept that this would constitute a dogmatic change, similar to the current dispute over the "Moghila" prayer of absolution in the Mystery of Repentance adopted in the 18th century in Russia which now raises the question: "Do priests have the power to forgive sins on earth?"- Liturgically, Russian Churches say 'yes', and most non-Slavic ones say 'no'. So now, we have a doctrinal dispute.
But as I've repeatedly said on this thread and elsewhere, doctrinal disputes is how the Church comes to define the dogmas which she does clearly believe, and she does this by holding up the erroneous belief (heresy) as an example. Take the example of the Iconoclasm dispute: the only reason that there we are called "Iconodules" is because at one stage "Iconoclasts" came about and started spreading their ideas.
And yes, some people may lose the point of the dispute and turn it into a political "us" vs. "them" instead of Orthodoxy vs. heresy, but we should know that that is bound to happen somewhere along the line, and it shouldn't surprize us, but nor should it be allowed to draw our attention away from the real issue, which is the doctrine, no matter where the heresy which challenges it has come from- whether it has come from "us" or "them".
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Schultz on April 10, 2007, 02:41:07 PM
I've read this thread with some amusement as it seems that the participants are now largely talking past one another.

This is what I see, with no names to protect the innocent.  This is, of course, an oversimplification, but it's what an outsider would see if he read this discussion.

Group One:  There is no writing from an Orthodox church father that supports any sort of Western notion of "atonement"

Group Two:  Yes there, here are examples.  And another thing, all this "East vs West" stuff is alot of bull.

Group One:  So, are you saying there is no East vs. West when it comes to theology?

Group Two:  No, I'm saying that one can find so-called "Western" theology in the writings of Eastern church fathers.  Here are some more examples.

Group One:  Well, all those writings don't equate everything that the church teaches.

Group Two:  Okay, but you still have to admit that if these ideas are present in the writings of Eastern fathers, then we can drop this East vs. West business.

Group One:  No, we can't.  You're not getting it.  Just because these things seem to show up (enter semantic discussion) in the writings of certain Fathers that doesn't mean that's what the church teaches.

Group Two:  But they're still present.  The Orthodox Church may downplay their importance and use other fathers writings to support that position, but they're still present.  Here are some examples from catechisms and the like.

Group One:  The Orthodox Church does not produce catechisms.  The Orthodox Church uses the liturgy to teach its faithful.

Group Two:  But catechisms do exist.

Group One:  But they're not official so they carry no weight.  There are NO liturgical writings to support an atonement theology.  It only comes up in Western theological and liturgical writings.

Group Two:  Well, some catechisms appear to be more official than others, like this one.  Since this church is in communion with the others, and supposedly believe the same things, they should hold true at least as an example of this atonement theology existing as a theologeouma (or however it is you spell it).  And we should still drop this silly East v. West thing.

Group One:  But I've never heard anything in the liturgy to support such a theory.  And I'm not anti-Western, I jsut don't like Western theology.

Group Two:  Okay, I believe that.  But the fact remains that this theory has been posited by Eastern fathers and therefore we should be honest and say that it does turn up in their writings, but the Church downplays these opinions in favor of others.

Group One:  But the Church doesn't say that.

And here we go again...

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 02:50:09 PM
Thanks for your opinion Shultz, but I don't share it.
but it's what an outsider would see if he read this discussion.
One should not presume to speak for an entire group of people. What exactly is "an outsider"? Someone who doesn't read all the discussion?
And as for "talking past each other", that's not been my experience at all.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 10, 2007, 03:06:34 PM
Quote
So, is this what you wish to change in the Orthodox Church? That she should start including the view of Penal Satisfaction in her liturgical services?

Red herring.  Nowhere have I said anything even approaching that.  I actually in this thread don't believe I've advocated any sort of change whatsoever.  I certainly haven't used the word penal at all.

Quote
The daily dogmatic voice of the Orthodox Church is the daily cycle of her Liturgical Services

Two questions then:

So the dogmatic voice of the church is found in all the liturgical services used, in both Western and Eastern Rites, correct?

When the services/typikon of the church change, does the theology of the church change?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 03:22:17 PM
So the dogmatic voice of the church is found in all the liturgical services used, in both Western and Eastern Rites, correct?
To answer honestly: I'm not sure.
Personally, I'm not entirely happy with the method with which the Western Rite was introduced. I really think it should have taken place on a Pan-Orthodox level rather than the local level.

When the services/typikon of the church change, does the theology of the church change?
No. The Services are changing all the time- just look at the current mess the Greek typicon for Orthros is in, and I've already mentioned the Moghila Absolution prayer, not to mention the fact that new services are constantly being written at the local level. But what I'm talking about is the Services, Hymns and Prayers which have stood the test of time and place. The Absolution Prayer of Arch. Peter Moghila has not stood the test of time and place, since it is not acceptable throughout the Church, and the same goes for the Greek revision of the the Typicon, since it is not acceptable throughout the Church. But there are dogmatic hymns etc, which the whole church accepts, and isn't this the acid test of St. Vincent of Lerins: universality, antiquity and consent?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 10, 2007, 03:27:04 PM
One that I have quoted from in this thread is the Longer Catechism of St. Philaret of Moscow that bears the following statement

"Examined and Approved by the Most Holy Governing Synod, and Published for the Use of Schools, and of all Orthodox Christians, by Order of His Imperial Majesty. (Moscow, at the Synodical Press, 1830.)"

http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

While technically you may be correct that for instance this was not put out by the entire church, do you suppose the faith of the Romanian Church is different than what was approved of by the Holy Synod of the Russian Church?

The one thing that does approach a catechism covering all churches are the Acts and Decrees 1672 Synod of Jerusalem.  http://catholicity.elcore.net/ConfessionOfDositheus.html  It was described IIRC by Metropolitan Kallistos in his book "The Orthodox Church" as the most important post schism Pan Orthodox synod.  It's acts and decrees very much resemble what a catechism is intended to do, although not in the simplified Q&A format of a true catechism.  The real point is it is an authoritative statement on the faith.

Similar then to the work that was the nexus of this thread, although it seems with contradictory propositions.

While I would never discount the importance of the liturgy as the living expression of the church, I don't think we would be so naive as to assume they are the only deposit of faith or our only tool for learning about it.  That is why catechisms and other materials have been and will be produced.

It's interesting, because when I read these words I detect a rather patronizing tone.  Oh well, such is the Internet.

I have indeed listened to and participated in the divine services, though I haven't limited myself to comprehending the faith based on them.  This is an interesting point, because I think some people do assume others such as their children will pick up the faith almost through osmosis, and take no active interest in looking at it more deeply.  That I believe is a mistake.

The fads I fear are the re-invention of Orthodoxy as the alternative to the western church, which much of what I'm reading is further evidence of.  Considering I don't think I've quoted a writing newer than the 19th century, I hope one thing it would appear I am not doing is following a fad.  It would seem to me critically examining the claims being made about what the Orthodox church has actually said in the past is counter to the current fads.

No patronizing tone intended...this is not the best form of communication. I do believe the faith can be transmitted to my children by osmosis. Holy Week for us was one service following another. The boys served as altar boys in almost every service we attended. Questions do arise when we are at home because of what they have seen, heard or done during the various services. We discuss these questions and I answer them to the best of my ability or if I don't know the answer I ask our priest. They do attend Sunday School but I think it is more critical that they attend the services even if they still do not comprehend everything. Over time, the words of the prayers and hymns will become ingrained in their hearts.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 10, 2007, 03:31:38 PM
Red herring.  Nowhere have I said anything even approaching that.  I actually in this thread don't believe I've advocated any sort of change whatsoever.  I certainly haven't used the word penal at all.


When you stated that you didn't understand the eastern theory's regarding the western atonement. You should have stopped there and tried to understand it. There not strawmen as others try and point out. Look into them before criticizing. If the reason for this debate is lack of knowledge regarding the eastern view. Than I suggest you look into it further before continuing.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 10, 2007, 04:06:57 PM
To answer honestly: I'm not sure.
Personally, I'm not entirely happy with the method with which the Western Rite was introduced. I really think it should have taken place on a Pan-Orthodox level rather than the local level.

It has been blessed though for use by our bishops, so it would seem to me it would be hard to discount its validity; and therefore one could not discount its authority to represent Orthodox doctrine if one believes that the liturgy contains the substance of the faith.  Therefore, I can't see how one could say the "Eastern" or the "Western" view of the Atonement is either right or wrong.  Both are represented in the liturgies we use.

Quote
No. The Services are changing all the time- just look at the current mess the Greek typicon for Orthros is in, and I've already mentioned the Moghila Absolution prayer, not to mention the fact that new services are constantly being written at the local level. But what I'm talking about is the Services, Hymns and Prayers which have stood the test of time and place. The Absolution Prayer of Arch. Peter Moghila has not stood the test of time and place, since it is not acceptable throughout the Church, and the same goes for the Greek revision of the the Typicon, since it is not acceptable throughout the Church. But there are dogmatic hymns etc, which the whole church accepts, and isn't this the acid test of St. Vincent of Lerins: universality, antiquity and consent?

Here I think again is simply another issue with falling back and saying the services are the source of authoritative teaching.  Many hymns are quite ancient, but the oldest (Phos Hilarion I believe) is probably from the second century.  Pretty much everything else was added over time, especially the hymnology which grew in length and complexity.  It seems to me there must be a deposit of faith that preceded and therefore necessarily underlies its expression in the liturgy.  So the question becomes what is it, and where can we point to?  If not the church fathers, or the catechisms, or the councils or synods, then what?  The Catholics have the Magisterium and the Protestants the Bible.  What is our source of authoritative teaching?

I think the other danger in saying the essential substance of the faith is bound up in the liturgy is all too readily apparent in the split within the Russian church over the Nikonian reforms.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Asteriktos on April 10, 2007, 04:13:38 PM
George

Basically what I meant was, when people ignore the schisms in the early Church, while pointing out divisions among other groups, they are biased in that they ignore the fact that their own church has had break off groups. To hear some Catholic and Orthodox apologists speak (and I heard it a lot in chat rooms), you'd think that--with an exception or two like that whole Photius thing--everyone was together as one happy family until circa 1054. And then everyone was generally fine (as two seperate bodies) until the early 16th century. Why not just be honest, and admit that there were probably major divisions in every century, some of which ended in reconciliation, and some of which are still dividing Christianity today? The bias is in seeing history as people would like it to be, rather than for what it was. I certainly don't claim to be free from bias, I'm just saying.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 10, 2007, 04:55:39 PM
Ozgeorge:
Quote
Whether you like it or not, East and West are in Schism- and not just any schism, but one which has come to be called "The Great Schism".... But the reality is (much as you seem to wish to deny it) is that the Church is no longer One in East and West.

The Great Schism is correctly used in reference to events that happened in Europe surrounding the period of the Avignon Papacy. The use for the schism between Constantinople in Rome is secondary (noting, it wasn't a schism with the Orthodox til later - much later. Antioch did not until much later, Alexandria not until the sack of Constantinople. As for 'the West' - the West is One in the Church, and has been for quite awhile. Us Western Orthodox are in the Church again, like it or not. The problem is not that some are pretending no differences between Rome and Orthodoxy, but in that some are smearing all Westerners with Rome's errors, as well as the fallacy that the schism was over issues that did not develop until much later. Again - the Roman schism was really only two matters: papal jurisdiction and the filioque.

Demetrios G.
Quote
Nobody is bashing the west. I have just displayed some differences between there theology's. Your taking it to personal. You stated that Anselm isn't the west. But yet your sticking to your guns that it can be Incorporated into the eastern church.

I should take it personal - you just again accused me and mine of something we don't hold to; and that is bearing false witness. We are Westerners, we do not hold to Anselm's views and *never have*. I never stated anything about 'incorporating' Anselm's views into the 'eastern church'. I did note, however, that ideas such as 'ransom', 'atonement' are present in Orthodoxy from the beginning - in the Scriptures, Liturgies, and Church Fathers. Again - the West does not, and never had a single theology (in illustration, read this FAQ by a non-Thomistic Traditional Catholic : http://www.cheetah.net/~ccoulomb/ultra-realism.html .) What I, and others, are objecting to is not correcting Anselm's errors (and he had them), but in the constant attributing of his errors and guilt to 'the West' or 'converts'. Noting, us Westerners wouldn't be converts if we didn't think Anselm was in error. Anselm is not the West, nor does he represent the West or Western theology.

welkodox/ozgeorge:
Quote
Quote
So the dogmatic voice of the church is found in all the liturgical services used, in both Western and Eastern Rites, correct?
To answer honestly: I'm not sure.
Personally, I'm not entirely happy with the method with which the Western Rite was introduced. I really think it should have taken place on a Pan-Orthodox level rather than the local level.

Our theology says yes. The method that Western rite was introduced by *was* Pan-Orthodox - not only in its Apostolic origins (which it has), but also later. Even Constantinople approved it in 1881 (all other Patriarchates have as well.) The rite hasn't been 'reintroduced into' the Church, but parts of the West brought back into union. Besides, the use of the Western liturgical tradition overlaps - it has continuity in the Orthodox Church (thanks especially to the Russian Old Believers.) There also seems to be an implied charge here (false) that Western liturgy is somehow 'Anselmian' or 'Thomistic' (It isn't. We've got our texts from before the schism through to today, older in fact than the oldest 'Byzantine' texts. With some of our rights, we know that no more than 6 words had changed in the whole rite since the time before the Schism. As for the Byzantine rite - it was entirely introduced on the local level, rather than the Pan-Orthodox level. Never in history was it done the same way, and was locally foisted on the Antiochians by Balsamon (Met. Phillip understands this.) At least some of us were taught in catechism that the Orthodox Church *is* local, as St. Ignatius taught. The whole church exists in the laity and clergy gathered around their bishop. So, the local church is where things should occur. "Pan-Orthodox" was first tried about 1050 - by Rome, see what happened there? ;)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 08:20:33 PM
It has been blessed though for use by our bishops,
But which of the many heresies which have shaken the Orthodox Church over her history has not originally been blessed by Bishops? And liturgically, the Nikonian reforms in Russia changed the liturgy of an entire local Church in order to bring it more into conformity with the rest of the Church.

Here I think again is simply another issue with falling back and saying the services are the source of authoritative teaching.  Many hymns are quite ancient, but the oldest (Phos Hilarion I believe) is probably from the second century.  Pretty much everything else was added over time, especially the hymnology which grew in length and complexity.  It seems to me there must be a deposit of faith that preceded and therefore necessarily underlies its expression in the liturgy.  So the question becomes what is it, and where can we point to?  If not the church fathers, or the catechisms, or the councils or synods, then what?  The Catholics have the Magisterium and the Protestants the Bible.  What is our source of authoritative teaching?
And if we look at the earliest "deposit of faith" you mention- (i.e., the Bible) then what is the "deposit of faith" from whence it came?...and we can continue towards what appears to be reductio ad absurdum, but the fact of the matter is that the only way the Church can know the truth about  anything metaphysical is because God has revealed it. So either the Church Universal is being guided by the Holy Spirit, or she is not; either the Living Tradition of the Church Universal is the Apostolic Tradition, or it is not.

I think the other danger in saying the essential substance of the faith is bound up in the liturgy is all too readily apparent in the split within the Russian church over the Nikonian reforms.
And again, this is why we need to stop simply looking locally, and start thinking globally, and apply St. Vincent of Lerins' "acid test": universality, antiquity, and consent.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 10, 2007, 08:46:17 PM
If you apply universality, you aren't going to get Byzantine rite - which is why St. Vincent's statement refers to dogma, not to liturgy. (St. Vincent of Lerins, of course, being a Westerner.)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 08:56:14 PM
If you apply universality, you aren't going to get Byzantine rite
That depends where you think the Church was after the great Schism. And "Byzantine Rite" is not the only rite in the Church apart from "Western Rite".

which is why St. Vincent's statement refers to dogma, not to liturgy.
And if you follow the train of thought, the point is that Liturgy refers to dogma.

(St. Vincent of Lerins, of course, being a Westerner.)
And the point being? Perhaps you missed this post:
Please feel free to accuse me of something openly rather than make "general" comments.
Now let me say something openly to you:
Whether you like it or not, East and West are in Schism- and not just any schism, but one which has come to be called "The Great Schism". Nowhere have I suggested that the Church prior to the Great Schism was not one. Nowhere have I suggested that when the Church was one that Orthodoxy was not maintained in the West. But the reality is (much as you seem to wish to deny it) is that the Church is no longer One in East and West.
So despite your snide comments, and despite your's and aristibule's attempts to rest your arguments on the fact that the Western part of the Church was once Orthodox (which no one is arguing, so I fail to see your point in setting up a straw man about it- unless of course, you don't have a better point, which I suspect may be the case), and despite the futile attempts to suggest that the East did not maintain Orthodoxy as "evidenced" by the Nestorians and other heresies which were anathemised and have schismed from the Orthodox Church (which if you think about it about it, makes about as much sense as stating that the existence of Lutheranism "proves" the unorthodoxy of the Roman Catholic Church).......Despite all this, and despite the attempts to suggest that my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is phyletism simply because, post schism, this Church existed only in the "East" (which includes more countries than any of us will probably ever visit in our lifetime, so to suggest that it is "phyletism" which literally means "tribalism" is laughable)....despite all this rudeness, false accusation, misrepresentation, these moot points...not once have I ever said anything "anti-convert" or even "anti-west", I simply pointed out the differences, and stated my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church- and I've said before, that if you disagree with me, that's fine, I respect that. But don't you ever dare to suggest that my belief is based solely on a form of "phyletism".
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 10, 2007, 09:15:27 PM

The one thing that does approach a catechism covering all churches are the Acts and Decrees 1672 Synod of Jerusalem.  http://catholicity.elcore.net/ConfessionOfDositheus.html  It was described IIRC by Metropolitan Kallistos in his book "The Orthodox Church" as the most important post schism Pan Orthodox synod.  It's acts and decrees very much resemble what a catechism is intended to do, although not in the simplified Q&A format of a true catechism.  The real point is it is an authoritative statement on the faith.


Bishop Kallistos Ware
Orthodox Church

"The doctrinal decisions of an Ecumenical Council cannot be revised or corrected, but must be accepted in toto; but the Church has often been selective in its treatment of the acts of Local Councils: in the case of the seventeenth century Councils, for example, their statements of faith have in part been received by the whole Orthodox Church, but in part set aside or corrected."[the Confession of Dositheus was one of these]



"In the seventeenth century a number of Orthodox writers
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 10, 2007, 09:37:18 PM
That depends where you think the Church was after the great Schism. And "Byzantine Rite" is not the only rite in the Church apart from "Western Rite".

Quite. The East Syrian rite is and has been in use again in the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly 120 years. After the Roman schism, West Syrian rite continued as well as the majority rite of the Antiochian church (and existed as well after Balsamon tried to stamp it out, up until possibly as late as the 17th c.) There are enough differences as well between the modern Greek rite, modern Slavic rite, and the Old Rite of the Russians. It is sectarian to single one out as normative and the others as deficient.

Quote
And if you follow the train of thought, the point is that Liturgy refers to dogma.

But still, St. Vincent was not referring to liturgy - it isn't in his 'train of thought', though it might be in the minds of some here. I don't follow that train of thought either, but I do follow St. Vincent's.

Quote
And the point being? Perhaps you missed this post:

The point being in my reply to that post, so - not missed, but replied to.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 09:45:54 PM
it isn't in his 'train of thought',

"All of our liturgical hymns are instructive, profound and sublime. They contain the whole of our theology and moral teaching, give us Christian consolation and instill in us a fear of the Judgment. He who listens to them attentively has no need of other books on the Faith."
St Theophan the Recluse

"In my view, liturgical texts are for Orthodox Christians an incontestable doctrinal authority, whose theological irreproachability is second only to Scripture. Liturgical texts are not simply the works of outstanding theologians and poets, but also the fruits of the prayerful experience of those who have attained sanctity and theosis. The theological authority of liturgical texts is, in my opinion, even higher than that of the works of the Fathers of the Church, for not everything in the works of the latter is of equal theological value and not everything has been accepted by the fullness of the Church. Liturgical texts, on the other hand, have been accepted by the whole Church as a 'rule of faith' (kanon pisteos), for they have been read and sung everywhere in Orthodox churches over many centuries. Throughout this time, any erroneous ideas foreign to Orthodoxy that might have crept in either through misunderstanding or oversight were eliminated by Church Tradition itself, leaving only pure and authoritative doctrine clothed by the poetic forms of the Church’s hymns.'
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev

Source: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/12/1.aspx (http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/12/1.aspx)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 10, 2007, 09:48:29 PM
Well, I put a query to the experts on the EWTN Q&A website about "infinite sin."

I've seen people write on the Internet "Orthodoxy hasn't changed".  Yet we have changed, and are changing.  It's happening before our eyes.

From the aforementioned brochure:

Orthodoxy is undivided and unchanged. If one could "drop" into an Orthodox worship service in any century or culture, they would be able to recognize and enter into the worship. If one asked an doctrinal question, they would have exactly the same answer in any century, any place. Truth does not change."

(on the timeline) "Today: Orthodox Church unchanged"

"The structure, teachings and worship of the New Testament Church remains unchanged in the Orthodox Church."

"Worldwide Orthodoxy is divided only adminstratively by region and culture. Doctrinally and in practice each church is identical and in full communion with each other."

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 10, 2007, 09:59:52 PM
Therefore, I can't see how one could say the "Eastern" or the "Western" view of the Atonement is either right or wrong.  Both are represented in the liturgies we use.

As they are in the Catholic liturgy and theology too. Neither is right or wrong (though dividing them into two neat halves is! I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West").
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 10, 2007, 10:03:03 PM
I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West".
And I still have to see a better argument from you against the Orthodox Church other than a pamphlet produced by some group I've never come across and probably aren't in Communion with, but hey......who's counting? ;)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 10, 2007, 10:06:28 PM
Bishop Kallistos Ware
Orthodox Church

"The doctrinal decisions of an Ecumenical Council cannot be revised or corrected, but must be accepted in toto; but the Church has often been selective in its treatment of the acts of Local Councils: in the case of the seventeenth century Councils, for example, their statements of faith have in part been received by the whole Orthodox Church, but in part set aside or corrected."[the Confession of Dositheus was one of these]



"In the seventeenth century a number of Orthodox writers

He does say parts were accepted by the whole church, and parts were not.  He doesn't specify which council of the two however or which part, but based on this quote earlier in the book

Quote
On the whole, however, the Confession of Dositheus is less Latin than that of Moghila, and must certainly be regarded as a document of primary importance in the history of modern Orthodox theology.

I would guess it is more likely the Confession of St. Petro Mohyla is the one with parts set aside.  In any case, I only quoted one thing from the Confession of Dositheus.

I'm glad at least that we've arrived at the point where we can drop the western/eastern distinction and look to the Western and Eastern liturgical expressions of Orthodoxy as normative for the faith.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 10, 2007, 10:09:14 PM


Demetrios G.
I should take it personal - you just again accused me and mine of something we don't hold to; and that is bearing false witness. We are Westerners, we do not hold to Anselm's views and *never have*. I never stated anything about 'incorporating' Anselm's views into the 'eastern church'. I did note, however, that ideas such as 'ransom', 'atonement' are present in Orthodoxy from the beginning - in the Scriptures, Liturgies, and Church Fathers. Again - the West does not, and never had a single theology (in illustration, read this FAQ by a non-Thomistic Traditional Catholic : http://www.cheetah.net/~ccoulomb/ultra-realism.html .) What I, and others, are objecting to is not correcting Anselm's errors (and he had them), but in the constant attributing of his errors and guilt to 'the West' or 'converts'. Noting, us Westerners wouldn't be converts if we didn't think Anselm was in error. Anselm is not the West, nor does he represent the West or Western theology.


Quote
The penal satisfaction theory isn't 'Western', though it is an error of focus and emphasis based upon language and understandings that *do* exist in the Orthodox Tradition (Scriptures and Patristics.) I'd like to be able to stop repeating it - but the West *never* has been entirely Thomistic, nor entirely Anselmian.

You can call me a sinner. Don't worry I have thick skin. Just don't call me a heretic. Well here is your post. Your post clearly states that it exists in the orthodox tradition. May I ask you where?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 10, 2007, 10:17:11 PM
And I still have to see a better argument from you against the Orthodox Church other than a pamphlet produced by some group I've never come across and probably aren't in Communion with, but hey......who's counting? ;)

The brochure was only providing an example of common Anti-dox thinking. It was not directly related to the subject of this thread. (It's from an OCA church---the EP is not in Communion with the OCA?)

And my debate here is not about what represents "true" Orthodoxy (I'll leave that to you and Welkodox; for me, it is already represented by the Catholic Church, where no Atonement theory is dogmatized unlike in Orthodoxy---or, as Welkodox would insist, in your characterization of it), but only about correcting the common and plainly silly stereotypes so many Orthodox construct of "Western" Atonement theology. I think I have already done that.

The discussion/debate regarding the OCA's Autocephaly and recognition by other churches has been given its own thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11433.0.html - Questions and whatnot regarding the OCA's Autocephaly - Cleveland, GM
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 10, 2007, 10:30:34 PM
The brochure was only providing an example of common Anti-dox thinking. It was not directly related to the subject of this thread. (It's from an OCA church---the EP is not in Communion with the OCA?)

And my debate here is not about what represents "true" Orthodoxy (I'll leave that to you and Welkodox; for me, it is already represented by the Catholic Church, where no Atonement theory is dogmatized unlike in Orthodoxy---or, as Welkodox would insist, in your characterization of it), but only about correcting the common and plainly silly stereotypes so many Orthodox construct of "Western" Atonement theology. I think I have already done that.

Ya, I think my 5 year old daughter can come up with a better drawing of a straw man!
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 10, 2007, 10:32:18 PM
St Theophan the Recluse

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev

Lets see - St. Vincent is 5th c. France, St. Theophan in 19th c. Russia. Bp. Hilarion (Alfeyev) 21st. c. Russian. You gotta take a huge leap across time and space to see a "train of thought" there. Again, St. Vincent's universality isn't speaking of liturgics (he sure isn't speaking of Byzantine rite, something St. Vincent never would have seen or even been aware of, especially not what we know of as Byzantine rite. IIRC, our oldest Byzantine liturgical texts are 10th c.) What St. Theophan says is true, of course - its just the 'Vincentian Canon' isn't referring to the same thing.

Also, as Lubeltri said - " I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West")." Except I'm asking it as a faithful and catechized Orthodox Christian. (Or for that matter, what is dogma in Orthodoxy - and what else is allowed as theological opinion, eh?)

Demetrios G:
Quote
Your post clearly states that it exists in the orthodox tradition. May I ask you where?

The Gospel according to St. Matthew (20:28), The Gospel according to St. Mark (10:45), the Apocalypse of St. John (5:9), The First Epistle to St. Timothy (2:6) - ie "ransom", there is one example of the language existing in Orthodoxy. You can find a full discussion of some of these same topics in "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology" by Fr. Michael Pomazansky (he describes the real fault with the 'Anselmian theory' as the "The figurative expressions of the Apostles were accepted ... in their literal and overly narrow sense, and ... interpreted as a "satisfaction". This one-sided interpretation of Redemption became the reigning one in Latin theology.... The term "satisfaction" has been used in Russian Orthodox theology, but in a changed form: "the satisfaction of God's righteousness." That is true for most other terms and ideas comprising that particular view in Roman Catholic theology. That is the balance in our Orthodox theology - no reason to deny the language, or that we use the language in our theology: we do. However, it isn't the same as the viewpoint expressed by the Anselmian school. Fr. Michael also notes (correctly) that many Protestants believe quite differently (even to the point of error) against the same theory being criticized in the OP.

What I don't know, and would like to know - where did this movement start that attempts to purge Orthodoxy of any sense of 'blood', 'ransom', 'atonement', 'sacrifice', 'substitution'?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 10, 2007, 10:56:12 PM
Lets see - St. Vincent is 5th c. France, St. Theophan in 19th c. Russia. Bp. Hilarion (Alfeyev) 21st. c. Russian. You gotta take a huge leap across time and space to see a "train of thought" there. Again, St. Vincent's universality isn't speaking of liturgics (he sure isn't speaking of Byzantine rite, something St. Vincent never would have seen or even been aware of, especially not what we know of as Byzantine rite. IIRC, our oldest Byzantine liturgical texts are 10th c.) What St. Theophan says is true, of course - its just the 'Vincentian Canon' isn't referring to the same thing.

Also, as Lubeltri said - " I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West")." Except I'm asking it as a faithful and catechized Orthodox Christian. (Or for that matter, what is dogma in Orthodoxy - and what else is allowed as theological opinion, eh?)

Demetrios G:
The Gospel according to St. Matthew (20:28), The Gospel according to St. Mark (10:45), the Apocalypse of St. John (5:9), The First Epistle to St. Timothy (2:6) - ie "ransom", there is one example of the language existing in Orthodoxy. You can find a full discussion of some of these same topics in "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology" by Fr. Michael Pomazansky (he describes the real fault with the 'Anselmian theory' as the "The figurative expressions of the Apostles were accepted ... in their literal and overly narrow sense, and ... interpreted as a "satisfaction". This one-sided interpretation of Redemption became the reigning one in Latin theology.... The term "satisfaction" has been used in Russian Orthodox theology, but in a changed form: "the satisfaction of God's righteousness." That is true for most other terms and ideas comprising that particular view in Roman Catholic theology. That is the balance in our Orthodox theology - no reason to deny the language, or that we use the language in our theology: we do. However, it isn't the same as the viewpoint expressed by the Anselmian school. Fr. Michael also notes (correctly) that many Protestants believe quite differently (even to the point of error) against the same theory being criticized in the OP.

What I don't know, and would like to know - where did this movement start that attempts to purge Orthodoxy of any sense of 'blood', 'ransom', 'atonement', 'sacrifice', 'substitution'?


I have tried to explain it earlier in the thread. Go back and reread my posts. It's an ontological issue. We have dogma regarding our creation. I don't believe it's up to me to do your homework for you. Those terms you posted have to be put into context.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 10, 2007, 11:29:30 PM
Yes, I read what you posted - but still the fact remains that those terms exist to be placed in context. They do exist, and are part of Orthodox theology (especially Russian Orthodox theology.) I don't believe its up to me to do your homework either - and it is a bit tiring to have to explain my position repeatedly while you accuse us of holding to the Anselmian view.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 11, 2007, 12:40:46 AM
He does say parts were accepted by the whole church, and parts were not.  He doesn't specify which council of the two however or which part, but based on this quote earlier in the book

I would guess it is more likely the Confession of St. Petro Mohyla is the one with parts set aside.  In any case, I only quoted one thing from the Confession of Dositheus.

I'm glad at least that we've arrived at the point where we can drop the western/eastern distinction and look to the Western and Eastern liturgical expressions of Orthodoxy as normative for the faith.

He says that the 17th century councils were corrected and some things were set aside. I interpret that to mean they were all faulty and not authoritative in their original form.

Western rite may be very old but it has not organically evolved over time within Orthodoxy. We don't even know if the rite will be successful within Orthodoxy. Time will tell. 
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 11, 2007, 01:30:23 AM
http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.10.en.original_sin_according_to_st._paul.01.htm

That's a good read!  I love this in particular:

Thus salvation for man and creation cannot come by a simple act of forgiveness of any juridical imputation of sin, nor can it come by any payment of satisfaction to the devil (Origen) or to God (Rome). Salvation can come only by the destruction of the devil and his power.

...

If there is no resurrection there can be no salvation. Since death is a consequence of the discontinuation of communion with the life and love of God, and thereby a captivity of man and creation by the devil, then only a real resurrection can destroy the power of the devil. It is inaccurate and shallow thinking to try to pass off as Biblical the idea that the question of a real bodily resurrection is of secondary importance.


Again, it is the resurrection that ACTUALLY saved us.  The legalities of the crucifixion, if any, are secondary. 

St. Paul says it clearly:

1 Cor. 15
17  And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18  Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 11, 2007, 07:40:43 AM
(It's from an OCA church---the EP is not in Communion with the OCA?)
Nope. Nor are they mentioned in the Dyptich of the Church of Constantinople.

The discussion/debate regarding the OCA's Autocephaly and recognition by other churches has been given its own thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11433.0.html - Questions and whatnot regarding the OCA's Autocephaly - Cleveland, GM

That's a good read! 
I've always found Romanides to be a good read. It's really sad that he is written off as being "anti-western" by some- which seems to me to be the new "PC thuggery" of some in the Church (and I am talking about a few Bishops, priests and theologians here).  It's as though they seek to deny that things such as the hesychastic controversy even happened, and the mere mention of anything which suggests that there now exists some dogmatic differences between the eastern and western Churches brings an almighty tirade against one. And what I'd like to ask the "PC thugs" in the Orthodox Church is: if there are no dogmatic differences, then why not abolish the Western Rite in the Orthodox Church and allow worship in the Roman Catholic Church instead, rather than trying to make leaven bread look like unleaven bread?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 11, 2007, 10:35:39 AM
Tamara:
Quote
Western rite may be very old but it has not organically evolved over time within Orthodoxy.

Technically it did - as the Western rite evolved in the first millenium, and has changed in only a few particulars since that time (again, with Western Rite in Orthodoxy, all those changes are corrected.) Nevermind that language of 'organic' comes from the Theosopical movement (in particular, the Traditionalist school of Rene Guenon.) The truth is, even with 'organic' applied - it did organically reenter Orthodoxy, through the appropriate channels.

Ozgeorge:
Quote
It's as though they seek to deny that things such as the hesychastic controversy even happened, and the mere mention of anything which suggests that there now exists some dogmatic differences between the eastern and western Churches brings an almighty tirade against one. And what I'd like to ask the "PC thugs" in the Orthodox Church is: if there are no dogmatic differences, then why not abolish the Western Rite in the Orthodox Church and allow worship in the Roman Catholic Church instead, rather than trying to make leaven bread look like unleaven bread?

Again and again - no one is denying the hesychastic controversy happened, or that there are dogmatic differences with the Roman Catholic church. That we *aren't* worshipping in the RCC should give you a clue - you've constructed a strawman. If we speak of Barlaam - the West was never against hesychasm, in fact - hesychasm has a long history in the West (popping up again and again, see articles on Quietism - which covers everything from hesychasm to some things that are wrong. The point being, real hesychasm was misunderstood as Quietism - not just in condemning Eastern Orthodox, but also in condemning many Catholic mystics. Hesychasm, however, is an integral part of Western theology - and has been since the beginnings (I know I find it in medieval Welsh writings, and earlier Irish writings.)

That - and we don't 'make leaven bread look like unleaven bread'. If you want to see the leavened hosts we use, they are similar to what Anglicans have used the past 500 years - very similar to Russian prosfora, almost exactly like Syriac qurban.

The point is - it is anti-Westernism to keep saying 'The West is X' when the West was actually 'A' through 'Z'. The fault lies not in a lack of recognition of errors in the Roman church (we wouldn't be Orthodox otherwise, but would have stayed where we were.) The fault is in claiming that the West through and through held to a whole list of errors (they didn't.)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on April 11, 2007, 10:40:22 AM
Theognosis,

Quote
Thus salvation for man and creation cannot come by a simple act of forgiveness of any juridical imputation of sin

Forgiveness is key to the redemptive work of the Lord Christ. It is key to our ongoing process of salvation; we ask, nay, beg for forgiveness consistently in our liturgical and private worship. Yet the need for forgiveness is, in essence, the need for guilt--not illness--to be absolved. You don't go to a physician and beg for their forgiveness of your illness. The therepeutic aspect of salvation is indeed important and not to be overlooked, and given its greater appeal to the average mind is probably the aspect to be emphasised first and foremost, but it certainly cannot replace the juridical aspect of redemption.

"Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all". (St. Athanasius, Contra Arianos I.41,60)

"How, were the Word a mere creature, could He have the power to undo God's sentence, and to remit sin?" (St. Athanasius, Orations ii. s. 67)

Quote
Again, it is the resurrection that ACTUALLY saved us.


You simply cannot separate the work of the Resurrection and the Crucifixion; that's highly un-Orthodox. Our hymns, icons, and soteriology in general, testify quite strongly to the fact that they constitute a single unified event.

Quote
St. Paul says it clearly:

1 Cor. 15
17  And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

He also clearly states (in the very same epistle, I believe), that we should not know anything but Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.

ozgeorge,

Quote
I've always found Romanides to be a good read.


Your Bishop thinks otherwise.  ;)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 11, 2007, 10:52:24 AM
Romanides is a good read. But, there is a qualification...

Romanides' theories are not official with the Orthodox Church, nor are they mainstream or even majority opinion. Which should be stressed - his writings *are* opinions. Romanides may represent a certain school of thought associated with Holy Cross in Brookline, MA. But, there are hierarchs and clergy who disagree with him (many of them Holy Cross graduates.)

(And a step back - I agree with Ozgeorge about PC thugs. The anti-Anglo PC crowd in Orthodoxy really gets me P.O.ed. If they want to be Eastern so much (Greek, etc.) then there is real estate aplenty in those Eastern countries. If you aren't assimilating, you're invading. I'm happy the Indonesian Orthodox figured that out in time.)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 11, 2007, 11:44:57 AM
Tamara:
Technically it did - as the Western rite evolved in the first millenium, and has changed in only a few particulars since that time (again, with Western Rite in Orthodoxy, all those changes are corrected.) Nevermind that language of 'organic' comes from the Theosopical movement (in particular, the Traditionalist school of Rene Guenon.) The truth is, even with 'organic' applied - it did organically reenter Orthodoxy, through the appropriate channels.

You mean tacking on the epliclesis? I don't think that was a "correction," but an artificial addition.

I am supportive of the Latin or other Western rites in Orthodoxy, it makes you more catholic, but I think the rite was fine as it was.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 11, 2007, 11:45:05 AM
Theognosis,

Forgiveness is key to the redemptive work of the Lord Christ. It is key to our ongoing process of salvation; we ask, nay, beg for forgiveness consistently in our liturgical and private worship. Yet the need for forgiveness is, in essence, the need for guilt--not illness--to be absolved. You don't go to a physician and beg for their forgiveness of your illness. The therepeutic aspect of salvation is indeed important and not to be overlooked, and given its greater appeal to the average mind is probably the aspect to be emphasised first and foremost, but it certainly cannot replace the juridical aspect of redemption.

"Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all". (St. Athanasius, Contra Arianos I.41,60)

"How, were the Word a mere creature, could He have the power to undo God's sentence, and to remit sin?" (St. Athanasius, Orations ii. s. 67)
 

You simply cannot separate the work of the Resurrection and the Crucifixion; that's highly un-Orthodox. Our hymns, icons, and soteriology in general, testify quite strongly to the fact that they constitute a single unified event.


I'm going to stress this again. Salvation is an ontological issue. No man has or ever will lived up to the glory of God.
If you want a good read on the matter. Read 1 The dogma regarding Creation through 7 Ecclesiology.
http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogmatiki1/perieh.htm
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 11, 2007, 12:16:23 PM
I think people should reread EA's quotes from St. Athanasius.  They are quite telling, especially those who want to pretend that this "satisfaction" issue was never found in the "Eastern" fathers.

He also makes a very important argument.  While I don't deny an ontological aspect, I don't think one can ask a physician to "forgive me," as EA articulated.  To say that this is ENTIRELY ontological denies this aspect of salvation, and in essence might even deny a lot of practices in our church, including confession.

As for Fr. John Romanides, while I respect and agree with his writings, he does give off a sense of "anti-Western" pride.  A lot of his writings is dedicated to the "real Romans" vs. those fake Latin-Frankish poor excuses of human beings.

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 11, 2007, 12:18:21 PM
I think people should reread EA's quotes from St. Athanasius.  They are quite telling, especially those who want to pretend that this "satisfaction" issue was never found in the "Eastern" fathers.

He also makes a very important argument.  While I don't deny an ontological aspect, I don't think one can ask a physician to "forgive me."  To say that this is ENTIRELY ontological denies this aspect of salvation, and in essence might even deny a lot of practices in our church, including confession.

As for Fr. John Romanides, while I respect and agree with his writings, he does give off a sense of "anti-Western" pride.  A lot of his writings is dedicated to the "real Romans" vs. those fake Latin-Frankish poor excuses of human beings.

I completely agree. Why can't we have BOTH ontological AND juridical? They are both found in Scripture and the Fathers.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 11, 2007, 12:20:36 PM
For that matter, ROCOR is also considered under Moscow (nothing new next month, just restoration of our hierarchs concelebrating.)

Lubeltri:
Quote
You mean tacking on the epliclesis? I don't think that was a "correction," but an artificial addition. ...I am supportive of the Latin or other Western rites in Orthodoxy, it makes you more catholic, but I think the rite was fine as it was.

This is probably a topic for another thread - in liturgy. A brief synopsis of why we Western Orthodox have an epiclesis, though:

To begin with, the epiclesis is a feature of Western liturgy from the earliest times (to be distinguished from epiklesis, a similar prayer with the same function in the Byzantine rite of Eastern liturgy. One term is Latin, the other Greek - when referring to the WRO liturgies, you correctly use epiclesis, while epiklesis is the normal term when discussing Byzantine or Oriental liturgies.)

The epiclesis still exists in the Mozarabic rite (in fact, where we have our epiclesis from - the Gothic Missal), as it did in the other Gallican rites. It used to be the opinion of the greater part of liturgical scholars that the Roman mass originally had an epiclesis. In the mid-20th c., this fell out of favor in some quarters. However, to hold such an opinion means to ignore contemporary witness even of Roman bishops who describe the epiclesis in the Roman Mass. There were and are differences of opinion as to where the epiclesis was or should be.

As for as Western theology regarding the epiclesis, there is a whole literature involved the subject in English. The Non-Juror Anglicans demanded the restoration of the epiclesis. So did the English part of the Anglo-Catholic movement (a whole Alcuin Club publication is dedicated to the epiclesis.) The Book of Common Prayer tradition, in fact, began with the restoration of an epiclesis into the liturgy of the first Prayer Book (which the Roman Church considered a Catholic liturgy - it was only the later Ordinal and second Prayer Book that were later rejected. The second Prayer Book, by the way, was never accepted by the Church - only by the English government, and only propogated for three months. Many scholars claim it was never in use in most parts of the Empire.) It is no secret either that the reform of the Roman Mass at Vatican II included the restoration of an epiclesis (and I'm not talking about liturgical abuses in the name of Vatican II.)

The question as to borrowing between Western rites - they form such a close family, and the basic form of the Roman canon became normative, that minor borrowing in the name of clarifying our theology is justified. The fact is that both the Western theologians (including Roman trained DDs in the 19th c.) as well as Orthodox theologians from the old Academies (such as Kiev) were involved in the review of the Roman rite (same as the Gallican rite, again - which Abbe Guetee was the first Orthodox to translate and use.) The inclusion (restoration) of the epiclesis into the Roman Canon then was in accordance with Orthodox theology (East and West) and with a scholarly understanding of its precedent and nativity within Western liturgy. It is no more 'tacked in' than the name of various saints are into the commemorations in the Canon (which various Missals have wide variations.) Again, part of the diversity of the West, of which it is error to say 'The West had no epiclesis'.

Also - regarding recognition of OCA autocephaly. There are varying reasons - for Constantinople, it is because they now hold that they alone can grant autocephaly. For other churches, it is because they understand that Autocephaly cannot be granted to only a portion of a local church. For any American Church to have autocephaly, it has to be *all* the American Orthodox.

The discussion/debate regarding the OCA's Autocephaly and recognition by other churches has been given its own thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11433.0.html - Questions and whatnot regarding the OCA's Autocephaly - Cleveland, GM

As for the 'ontological argument' - the funny thing is, that Anselm was the first to apply the ontological argument to theology. Ironic, no? Me - I'm no fan of Anselm or his ontological argument.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 11, 2007, 12:40:33 PM
For that matter, ROCOR is also considered under Moscow (nothing new next month, just restoration of our hierarchs concelebrating.)

Lubeltri:
This is probably a topic for another thread - in liturgy. A brief synopsis of why we Western Orthodox have an epiclesis, though:

To begin with, the epiclesis is a feature of Western liturgy from the earliest times (to be distinguished from epiklesis, a similar prayer with the same function in the Byzantine rite of Eastern liturgy. One term is Latin, the other Greek - when referring to the WRO liturgies, you correctly use epiclesis, while epiklesis is the normal term when discussing Byzantine or Oriental liturgies.)

The epiclesis still exists in the Mozarabic rite (in fact, where we have our epiclesis from - the Gothic Missal), as it did in the other Gallican rites. It used to be the opinion of the greater part of liturgical scholars that the Roman mass originally had an epiclesis. In the mid-20th c., this fell out of favor in some quarters. However, to hold such an opinion means to ignore contemporary witness even of Roman bishops who describe the epiclesis in the Roman Mass. There were and are differences of opinion as to where the epiclesis was or should be.

As for as Western theology regarding the epiclesis, there is a whole literature involved the subject in English. The Non-Juror Anglicans demanded the restoration of the epiclesis. So did the English part of the Anglo-Catholic movement (a whole Alcuin Club publication is dedicated to the epiclesis.) The Book of Common Prayer tradition, in fact, began with the restoration of an epiclesis into the liturgy of the first Prayer Book (which the Roman Church considered a Catholic liturgy - it was only the later Ordinal and second Prayer Book that were later rejected. The second Prayer Book, by the way, was never accepted by the Church - only by the English government, and only propogated for three months. Many scholars claim it was never in use in most parts of the Empire.) It is no secret either that the reform of the Roman Mass at Vatican II included the restoration of an epiclesis (and I'm not talking about liturgical abuses in the name of Vatican II.)

The question as to borrowing between Western rites - they form such a close family, and the basic form of the Roman canon became normative, that minor borrowing in the name of clarifying our theology is justified. The fact is that both the Western theologians (including Roman trained DDs in the 19th c.) as well as Orthodox theologians from the old Academies (such as Kiev) were involved in the review of the Roman rite (same as the Gallican rite, again - which Abbe Guetee was the first Orthodox to translate and use.) The inclusion (restoration) of the epiclesis into the Roman Canon then was in accordance with Orthodox theology (East and West) and with a scholarly understanding of its precedent and nativity within Western liturgy. It is no more 'tacked in' than the name of various saints are into the commemorations in the Canon (which various Missals have wide variations.) Again, part of the diversity of the West, of which it is error to say 'The West had no epiclesis'.

Thanks for the explanation. I don't doubt that an explicit epiclesis has existed, long ago, in the West, but my point was that it is already expressed implicitly in the classic Roman rite (and the possible "loss" of it occurred long before the East-West schism). I know some Orthodox theologians think an explicit epiclesis is absolutely necessary for a valid consecration, and you Western-rite Orthodox already have to go out of your way to convince many in your Church that you are legitimate, so I can understand why you imported the epiklesis from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom to your rite. Just thought it wasn't necessary (and neither were all those different Eucharistic prayers in the Novus Ordo, of course).
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 11, 2007, 01:05:58 PM
Thanks for the explanation. I don't doubt that an explicit epiclesis has existed, long ago, in the West, but my point was that it is already expressed implicitly in the classic Roman rite (and the possible "loss" of it occurred long before the East-West schism). I know some Orthodox theologians think an explicit epiclesis is absolutely necessary for a valid consecration, and you Western-rite Orthodox already have to go out of your way to convince many in your Church that you are legitimate, so I can understand why you imported the epiklesis from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom to your rite. Just thought it wasn't necessary (and neither were all those different Eucharistic prayers in the Novus Ordo, of course).

St. Nicholas Cabasilas is often used as an example that the later Roman canon still has an 'implied' epiclesis - however, that is using him out of context. It wasn't the intent of his writing on the subject. Many liturgical scholars have not considered the Roman and Gallican as separate families, in fact - that since the time of Charlemagne they are definitely merged into one. The epiclesis did survive continuously at least in the Mozarabic. The Mozarabic in fact had many of them that were changed throughout the year, and inserted as the changeable parts in the Canon.

I wouldn't say we have to go out of our way - those critics are critics anyway, and they're argument isn't that we aren't Orthodox - but that we aren't 'Eastern' (meaning, not Hellenic, etc.) Any time they do make a criticism, they talk past us and criticize Rome or the Protestants. Meaning, they accuse us of practices or beliefs that we do not hold to.

Again, as you might have missed it - here is the epiclesis approved by our bishops from our official liturgical text:

And here we, Thy servants, offer the gifts that Thou hast commanded for our salvation, that Thou mayest be pleased to send down Thy Holy Spirit upon this Sacrifice that It may be duly and properly  changed in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, in the transformation  of the Body + and Blood + of our Lord, Jesus Christ and that It may be for us who partake thereof, Life eternal and the everlasting Kingdom through the same Jesus Christ our Lord Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

As you will note, it is the epiclesis Collect for the Throne of St. Peter from the Missale Gothicum. We didn't 'feel the need' to import from Chrysostoma, as it wasn't an issue of 'acceptance' from anyone, but a question of liturgical completeness and theological Orthodoxy (universal, not local 'Eastern' or 'Western'.) Overbeck did use a Western translation of the epiklesis from Chrysostoma, and only one of our texts uses it (two texts for the Antiochians) - but it is placed where Western liturgists have said the missing epiclesis is - before "We humbly pray Thee, Almighty God, to command that these giifts be borne by the hands of Thy holy Angel to Thine Altar on high...".

So, for us it is/was necessary - from a theological, historical and liturgical perspective. For a Trad Catholic committed to a baroque form of a particular liturgical use, it wouldn't be necessary - which is why you don't have the prayer anymore, nor will it be restored. (There are a few Antiochian WRO with a fascination for Renaissance Roman Catholicism, but not most of us - either in Antioch or ROCOR.)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 11, 2007, 01:08:12 PM
Lombard and Aquinas, and pretty much most Catholic theologians afterward, however, have disagreed with Anselm that the divine justice HAD to be satisfied, that the Atonement WAS necessary. It wasn't, but God chose it to be the conduit of his mercy (so, in that context, for us, it is necessary). And it conforms to reason that justice must be done---God is a pretty sensible God, not to mention an incredibly loving one.

This corresponds to St. Paul's words in Romans 3:24-26, " Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus."

God did it this way, so that Joe Common Man couldn't question the intergrity or justice of God in forgiving even the worst sinner, because look who paid the cost of his salvation!

Maybe, and don't press this too literally, the ransom was paid to common sense justice. So that the "man in the street" could easily understand a price was paid, a ransom was paid and the perfect God-Man Jesus Christ paid it.

On the other hand, God did create the universe to run by certain laws (he could have done it differently but he didn't) and he created man to "run" by a certain moral code (he could have done it differently but didn't) and because of this, the sacrificial death of Christ, not surprisingly, satisifies the righteous demands of that moral code and of justice. All the while God remains free and unbound. He is the one who chose to create and do the whole thing in this way in the first place. God is not constrained.

Removed doubled post - Cleveland, GM

PS sorry for the the extra posts, computer issues. The last line may be the critical one in this debate - that God "appears" (in some of these theories) to be constrained by divine justice -- I think that is what concerns many "eastern" theologians. The west (and I think this thread has established that satisfaction is not necessarily western) is not imposing necessity this sense on the divine nature or freedom of God.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 11, 2007, 01:10:40 PM
sorry  for actually triple posting
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: aserb on April 11, 2007, 01:49:30 PM
You know I've been reading this blog for some time and it is getting a bit tiring. You guys are gonna debate east vs. west theology unitl the cows come home. When I sojourned among the Evangelicals the following statement kept popping up which I still tend to agree with

"You were saved" You are being saved" You will be saved"

That's it in nutshell.

Now off to another rant.  :-X
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 11, 2007, 02:54:02 PM
This corresponds to St. Paul's words in Romans 3:24-26, " Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus."

God did it this way, so that Joe Common Man couldn't question the intergrity or justice of God in forgiving even the worst sinner, because look who paid the cost of his salvation!

Maybe, and don't press this too literally, the ransom was paid to common sense justice. So that the "man in the street" could easily understand a price was paid, a ransom was paid and the perfect God-Man Jesus Christ paid it.

On the other hand, God did create the universe to run by certain laws (he could have done it differently but he didn't) and he created man to "run" by a certain moral code (he could have done it differently but didn't) and because of this, the sacrificial death of Christ, not surprisingly, satisifies the righteous demands of that moral code and of justice. All the while God remains free and unbound. He is the one who chose to create and do the whole thing in this way in the first place. God is not constrained.

The last line may be the critical one in this debate - that God "appears" (in some of these theories) to be constrained by divine justice -- I think that is what concerns many "eastern" theologians. The west (and I think this thread has established that satisfaction is not necessarily western) is not imposing necessity this sense on the divine nature or freedom of God.

Exactly. Very well put. God is "constrained" only by his will to follow the divine justice he created.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 11, 2007, 03:29:52 PM
On the "constrainment" of God, St. Athanasius speaks (On the Incarnation):

Quote
(6)We saw in the last chapter that, because death and corruption were gaining ever firmer hold on them, the human race was in process of destruction. Man, who was created in God's image and in his possession of reason reflected the very Word Himself, was disappearing, and the work of God was being undone. The law of death, which followed from the Transgression, prevailed upon us, and from it there was no escape. The thing that was happening was in truth both monstrous and unfitting. It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die; but it was equally monstrous that beings which once had shared the nature of the Word should perish and turn back again into non-existence through corruption. It was unworthy of the goodness of God that creatures made by Him should be brought to nothing through the deceit wrought upon man by the devil; and it was supremely unfitting that the work of God in mankind should disappear, either through their own negligence or through the deceit of evil spirits. As, then, the creatures whom He had created reasonable, like the Word, were in fact perishing, and such noble works were on the road to ruin, what then was God, being Good, to do? Was He to let corruption and death have their way with them? In that case, what was the use of having made them in the beginning? Surely it would have been better never to have been created at all than, having been created, to be neglected and perish; and, besides that, such indifference to the ruin of His own work before His very eyes would argue not goodness in God but limitation, and that far more than if He had never created men at all. It was impossible, therefore, that God should leave man to be carried off by corruption, because it would be unfitting and unworthy of Himself.

(7) Yet, true though this is, it is not the whole matter. As we have already noted, it was unthinkable that God, the Father of Truth, should go back upon His word regarding death in order to ensure our continued existence. He could not falsify Himself; what, then, was God to do? Was He to demand repentance from men for their transgression? You might say that that was worthy of God, and argue further that, as through the Transgression they became subject to corruption, so through repentance they might return to incorruption again. But repentance would not guard the Divine consistency, for, if death did not hold dominion over men, God would still remain untrue. Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning. Had it been a case of a trespass only, and not of a subsequent corruption, repentance would have been well enough; but when once transgression had begun men came under the power of the corruption proper to their nature and were bereft of the grace which belonged to them as creatures in the Image of God. No, repentance could not meet the case. What - or rather Who was it that was needed for such grace and such recall as we required? Who, save the Word of God Himself, Who also in the beginning had made all things out of nothing? His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 11, 2007, 03:31:55 PM
Is something wrong with OC.net?

The rest of the message keeps getting truncated:

Fixed quote above and left this message with the follow-up - Cleveland, GM

Even though God is not bound or constrained by anything, there is a "Divine consistency" that must be followed, according to St. Athanasius.

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 11, 2007, 04:54:23 PM


On the "constrainment" of God, St. Athanasius speaks (On the Incarnation):

Excellent post minasoliman. This part in particular tells the whole story.

for, if death did not hold dominion over men, God would still remain untrue. Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning. Had it been a case of a trespass only, and not of a subsequent corruption, repentance would have been well enough;
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 11, 2007, 07:16:28 PM
Hesychasm, however, is an integral part of Western theology - and has been since the beginnings (I know I find it in medieval Welsh writings, and earlier Irish writings.)
I don't know how many times I have to say this. No one is arguing that the western Church was not Orthodox before the schism. No one is arguing that the western Church was not Orthodox before the schism. No one is arguing that the western Church was not Orthodox before the schism.

That - and we don't 'make leaven bread look like unleaven bread'.
From the website of St. Paul Antiochian Western Rite Orthodox Church:
Quote
The Host which is leavened bread baked into a thin round wafer is given first, followed by the wine. http://www.stpaulsorthodox.org/westernrite.html (http://www.stpaulsorthodox.org/westernrite.html)


Your Bishop thinks otherwise.  ;)
You mean, the guy who signed the Balamand Agreement? That guy? ;)
I stated that the PC thugs included Bishops for a reason.
Fortunately I'm not Roman Catholic, infallibility of Bishops is not an issue (despite the fact that Archbishop Sylianos argues that there is such a thing as infallibility in Orthodoxy).
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 11, 2007, 10:59:08 PM
The therepeutic aspect of salvation is indeed important and not to be overlooked, and given its greater appeal to the average mind is probably the aspect to be emphasised first and foremost, but it certainly cannot replace the juridical aspect of redemption.

"Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all". (St. Athanasius, Contra Arianos I.41,60)

"How, were the Word a mere creature, could He have the power to undo God's sentence, and to remit sin?" (St. Athanasius, Orations ii. s. 67)

I think that's a misrepresentation of how St. Athanasius viewed salvation.  People may quote many Church Fathers to prove that the legalities in the crucifixion exist, but they fail to realize that the Church Fathers have always stressed the importance of the resurrection.  In the case of St. Athanasius, a simple examination of his work "On the Incarnation" reveals that the therepeutic aspect is given much more emphasis over the juridical.  And even in the few times wherein St. Athanasius speaks of the juridical aspect, the therapeutic aspect is not left out, for instance:

He accepted and bore upon the cross a death inflicted by others, and those others His special enemies, a death which to them was supremely terrible and by no means to be faced; and He did this in order that, by destroying even this death {i.e. resurrection}, He might Himself be believed to be the Life, and the power of death be recognized as finally annulled.

In the book, I've done a simple search of the following words and their results:

For Anselm:
Crucifixion = 1
Crucify = 0
God's Satisfaction = 0
Justice = 0
Guilt = 0
Guilty = 0
Penalty = 2
Law = 26

Against Anselm:
Resurrection = 40
Corruption = 55
Corruptible = 6
Incorruptible = 9
Hades = 4
Sacrifice = 11**

** Sacrifice is always associated with the resurrection, for example:
Here, then, is the second reason why the Word dwelt among us, namely that having proved His Godhead by His works, He might offer the sacrifice on behalf of all, surrendering His own temple to death in place of all, to settle man's account with death and free him from the primal transgression. In the same act also He showed Himself mightier than death, displaying His own body incorruptible as the first-fruits of the resurrection.

For St. Athanasius, the resurrection is the key, and it shows in his works.

Quote
You simply cannot separate the work of the Resurrection and the Crucifixion;

When did I ever separate the resurrection and the crucifixion?  I was actually the one who kept on stressing that the crucifixion is useless without the resurrection!

Quote
that's highly un-Orthodox.

That's why Anselm's theory is un-Orthodox.  He has made the legalities of the crucifixion, if any, as the be-all and end-all of salvation.  In effect, the resurrection becomes a secondary event that can be discarded as opposed to a primary event that is vital. 

Quote
Our hymns, icons, and soteriology in general, testify quite strongly to the fact that they constitute a single unified event.

Correct.  And contrary to the satisfaction theory, the crucifixion is NOT THE ONLY event that saved us.  This makes Anselm's concepts--which focus almost exclusively on the crucifixion--untenable. 

Quote
He also clearly states (in the very same epistle, I believe), that we should not know anything but Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.

See above.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 11, 2007, 11:08:36 PM
I think people should reread EA's quotes from St. Athanasius.

That's not a good idea.  Quotes mislead people.  Your best bet is to read St. Athanasius' De Incarnatione Verb Dei.

It's available online.  And it IS a good read.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 11, 2007, 11:19:20 PM
Dear Theognosis,

The point being made is that the juridicial view is not neglected.  Many Orthodox consider the juridicial view heretical.  Even though he may have written more about ontology, he did not let alone the juridicial side of salvation.

I don't think these were misleading quotes.  If they were misleading, you would prove to us how these quotes are not juridicial.

Even a small part on St. Athanasius' "On the Incarnation" writes about some sort of "debt:"

Quote
(20) We have dealt as far as circumstances and our own understanding permit with the reason for His bodily manifestation. We have seen that to change the corruptible to incorruption was proper to none other than the Savior Himself, Who in the beginning made all things out of nothing; that only the Image of the Father could re-create the likeness of the Image in men, that none save our Lord Jesus Christ could give to mortals immortality, and that only the Word Who orders all things and is alone the Father's true and sole-begotten Son could teach men about Him and abolish the worship of idols But beyond all this, there was a debt owing which must needs be paid; for, as I said before, all men were due to die. Here, then, is the second reason why the Word dwelt among us, namely that having proved His Godhead by His works, He might offer the sacrifice on behalf of all, surrendering His own temple to death in place of all, to settle man's account with death and free him from the primal transgression. In the same act also He showed Himself mightier than death, displaying His own body incorruptible as the first-fruits of the resurrection.

This also proves that an Eastern Father did not merely say that Christ died "with all," but on behalf of all.  To play that "Koine Greek" game simply puts St. Athanasius in the wrong.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 11, 2007, 11:25:20 PM
Fortunately I'm not Roman Catholic, infallibility of Bishops is not an issue (despite the fact that Archbishop Sylianos argues that there is such a thing as infallibility in Orthodoxy).

Unfortunately, you are not only not Roman Catholic, you don't seem to know what Roman Catholicism believes about bishops.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: dantxny on April 11, 2007, 11:34:31 PM
Unfortunately, you are not only not Roman Catholic, you don't seem to know what Roman Catholicism believes about bishops.
I think you're reading far too much into him.  Rather, there are some bishops who suggest a greater deal of infallibilty exists with some ordinaries than most Christians are used to.  As Orthodox are a local based church this would not be in some eastern pope.  If I'm putting false ideas into your mouth George, please correct me, but I think that you, lubeltri, are speaking past him  and past the issue.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 11, 2007, 11:36:17 PM
That's why Anselm's theory is un-Orthodox.  He has made the legalities of the crucifixion, if any, as the be-all and end-all of salvation.  In effect, the resurrection becomes a secondary event that can be discarded as opposed to a primary event that is vital. 

(http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/adversaries/bios/images/anselm.jpg)(http://typophile.com/files/scarecrow_oz_4222.gif)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on April 11, 2007, 11:39:35 PM
Quote
I think that's a misrepresentation of how St. Athanasius viewed salvation.


I'm having some trouble understanding how quoting St. Athanasius can be deemed misrepresenting St. Athanasius.

Quote
People may quote many Church Fathers to prove that the legalities in the crucifixion exist, but they fail to realize that the Church Fathers have always stressed the importance of the resurrection.

No one here is saying that the Resurrection is not important, or that its importance is not to be stressed. We are simply saying that its importance should not be stressed in exclusion to the Crucifxion, and in neglect of the judical aspect of Christ's redemptive work on the Cross.

Quote
In the case of St. Athanasius, a simple examination of his work "On the Incarnation" reveals that the therepeutic aspect is given much more emphasis over the juridical.

Ofcourse it is, but have you ever stopped to wonder why? It's certainly not because he thought there to be no judical aspect of salvation (and the quotes I brought forth concretely demonstrate this), nor because he thought an emphasis on the judical aspect of redemption per se was "unOrthodox".

Quote
And even in the few times wherein St. Athanasius speaks of the juridical aspect, the therapeutic aspect is not left out

But no one is arguing that such an aspect is absent in his soteriology, we are simply showing that it is not exclusive in his soteriology.

Quote
When did I ever separate the resurrection and the crucifixion?


That's the impression I received when you stated, that we are "actually saved by the Resurrection". We are *actually* saved by the entire work of the Incarnate Word--His Life, His Teachings, His Resurrection, His Ascension, His Sending of the Spirit, and no less, His Crucifixion.

Quote
That's why Anselm's theory is un-Orthodox.  He has made the legalities of the crucifixion, if any, as the be-all and end-all of salvation.


I choose not to comment on a figure whose works I have not read in their entirety. Much has been made of him in recent EO polemical publications, and I am not inclined to take those readings at face value.

As for reducing the redemptive work of Christ exclusively to the judical aspect of the Crucifixion, that is surely not Orthodox. But the very point that many of us are making here is that to reduce the redemptive work of Christ exclusively to any model, be it therapeutic, or judical, is surely not Orthodox.

Would you agree with this? If so, then I think we can agree that despite our surface disagreement, we're essentially on the same page.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 11, 2007, 11:44:33 PM
I think you're reading far too much into him.  Rather, there are some bishops who suggest a greater deal of infallibilty exists with some ordinaries than most Christians are used to.  As Orthodox are a local based church this would not be in some eastern pope.  If I'm putting false ideas into your mouth George, please correct me, but I think that you, lubeltri, are speaking past him  and past the issue.

The Pope himself could sign that Balamand Agreement, and we are completely free to believe that he was completely wrong to do it. Certainly some Catholics like to practice Pope worship, but it isn't Catholic teaching and has never been so. Sure, it's easy to worship John Paul II, but how about Alexander VI?

Forgive me if I do not have much patience for infallibility cracks.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 12, 2007, 12:00:50 AM
The point being made is that the juridicial view is not neglected.  Many Orthodox consider the juridicial view heretical.  Even though he may have written more about ontology, he did not let alone the juridicial side of salvation.

People can redefine the "juridical view" all they want, but it is the juridical view of Anselm in particular that is heretical.  It leads to immaculate conception, infant damnation before baptism, etc.

Quote
I don't think these were misleading quotes.  If they were misleading, you would prove to us how these quotes are not juridicial.

It is misleading because it can be used to support Anselm's totally different interpretation of the crucifixion.

Quote
Even a small part on St. Athanasius' "On the Incarnation" writes about some sort of "debt:"

Again, that's the danger of presenting quotes.  St. Athanasius actually goes on to explain why it was necessary for Christ to die on the cross.  Nothing was said about satisfying God.  Nothing was said about divine justice.  Acording to St. Athanasius, "the supreme object of His {Lord Jesus'} coming was to bring about the resurrection of the body."

There are some further considerations which enable one to understand why the Lord's body had such an end. The supreme object of His coming was to bring about the resurrection of the body. This was to be the monument to His victory over death, the assurance to all that He had Himself conquered corruption and that their own bodies also would eventually be incorrupt; and it was in token of that and as a pledge of the future resurrection that He kept His body incorrupt. But there again, if His body had fallen sick and the Word had left it in that condition, how unfitting it would have been! Should He Who healed the bodies of others neglect to keep His own in health? How would His miracles of healing be believed, if this were so? Surely people would either laugh at Him as unable to dispel disease or else consider Him lacking in proper human feeling because He could do so, but did not. (23) Then, again, suppose without any illness He had just concealed His body somewhere, and then suddenly reappeared and said that He had risen from the dead. He would have been regarded merely as a teller of tales, and because there was no witness of His death, nobody would believe His resurrection. Death had to precede resurrection, for there could be no resurrection without it. A secret and unwitnessed death would have left the resurrection without any proof or evidence to support it. Again, why should He die a secret death, when He proclaimed the fact of His rising openly? Why should He drive out evil spirits and heal the man blind from birth and change water into wine, all publicly, in order to convince men that He was the Word, and not also declare publicly that incorruptibility of His mortal body, so that He might Himself be believed to be the Life?
...
For it was not the Word Himself Who needed an opening of the gates, He being Lord of all, nor was any of His works closed to their Maker. No, it was we who needed it, we whom He Himself upbore in His own body
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 12, 2007, 12:28:18 AM
Dear Theognosis,

Can you explain what things in Anselm do you find heretical other than his exclusion of the Resurrection?  I've never got the feeling from looking at his writings that he excluded the Resurrection from salvation, although I do disagree with the concept of "infinite sin" and "robbing God's glory."  That's pretty much what I find disagreeable.  And also, can you show how this logically can lead to "immaculate conception, infant damnation before baptism, etc?"

And like EA said, we can't say that only the Resurrection was the sole cause of our salvation.  Yes, it is that great "monument" that shows proof He has defeated death, but not in exclusion to other things He did, like crucifixion.  And certainly because he talks little about the juridicial view doesn't mean he opposes it.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 12, 2007, 12:48:01 AM
As for reducing the redemptive work of Christ exclusively to the judical aspect of the Crucifixion, that is surely not Orthodox. But the very point that many of us are making here is that to reduce the redemptive work of Christ exclusively to any model, be it therapeutic, or judical, is surely not Orthodox.

Would you agree with this? If so, then I think we can agree that despite our surface disagreement, we're essentially on the same page.

Yes, I think we're on the same page.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 12, 2007, 01:59:00 AM
People can redefine the "juridical view" all they want, but it is the juridical view of Anselm in particular that is heretical.  It leads to immaculate conception, infant damnation before baptism, etc.
Okay, of all the strawmen, or red herrings, or just plain silly statements I've seen on this thread, this is by far the silliest!  Just how does Anselm's juridical view of atonement lead to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception?  ???
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 12, 2007, 02:16:19 AM
Regarding anti-Western Bias
I recognize that the RC church has introduced some teachings and practices that I, as an Orthodox Christian, must reject as heresies:

But I also recognize how nearsighted and wrong it is for me to reject many RC teachings as heretical merely because they're not Eastern.  The Orthodox Church remains the safeguard of true doctrine by the grace of the Holy Spirit, but, even though the Orthodox Church is predominantly Eastern in its theology due to its stronger geographical ties to Eastern culture, this does not mean the Orthodox Church can or even should be confined to her Eastern roots.  The Orthodox Church is the Church for all persons and can embrace and sanctify all cultures as valid means of communicating her Gospel of salvation in Christ Jesus.  Is this not part of what Christ meant when He told His disciples to "go and make disciples of all the nations"?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 12, 2007, 03:16:43 AM
Okay, of all the strawmen, or red herrings, or just plain silly statements I've seen on this thread, this is by far the silliest!  Just how does Anselm's juridical view of atonement lead to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception?  ???

Silliest?  Take it from Anselm.   ;)

CHAPTER SIXTEEN
How God assumed from the sinful mass a sinless
human nature. The salvation of Adam and of Eve.

B. Therefore, just as you have disclosed the rationale of the
points which have been stated above, so I ask you to disclose the
rationale of the points about which I am still going to ask. First
of all, how did God assume from the sinful mass--i.e., from the
human race, which was completely contaminated with sin--a sinless
human nature (as something unleavened from something leavened)?
For although the conception of this man was clean and was
free from the sin of carnal delight, nevertheless the virgin from
whom He was assumed was conceived in iniquities, and her mother
conceived her in sins; and this virgin was born with original sin,
since she sinned in Adam, in whom all have sinned.1

A. Now that it has been established that that man is God and
is the Reconciler of sinners, there is no doubt that He is completely
sinless. However, this sinlessness is not possible unless He
was assumed sinless from the sinful mass. But if we cannot comprehend
in what way the wisdom of God accomplished this sinless
assumption, we ought not to be astonished; rather, we ought
reverently to tolerate the fact that within the mystery of so deep
a matter there is something which we cannot know. Indeed, God
has restored human nature in a more miraculous manner than He
created it; for it is just as easy for Him to do the one as the other.
Now, it is not the case that before human nature existed it sinned
and, as a result, ought not to have been created.

...

Hence, we must not doubt that Adam and Eve shared in
that redemption, even though DivineAuthority does not openly state this.

A. Moreover, since God created them and immutably planned
to create from them all other men, whom He was going to take
into the Heavenly City, it also seems incredible that He would exclude
these two from His plan.

B. Indeed, we ought to believe that He created them especially
for the following purpose: viz., that they would be in the company
of those for whose sake they were created.

A. You are thinking correctly. Nevertheless, no soul was able to
enter the heavenly paradise before the death of Christ, just as I
stated above about the palace of the king.

B. We hold this belief.

A. But the virgin from whom that man (of whom we are speaking)
was taken belonged to the class of those who through Him
were cleansed from their sins before His birth; and He was taken
from her in her purity
.

B. What you say would please me greatly except for the fact
that, although He ought to have His purity from sin from Himself,
He would seem to have it from His mother and to be pure
through her rather than through Himself.


By the way, this was taken straight from Cur Deus Homo.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 12, 2007, 03:23:18 AM
Can you explain what things in Anselm do you find heretical other than his exclusion of the Resurrection? 

From the same source, said Anselm:

But if you will carefully consider human reconciliation, then
you will understand that the reconciliation of the Devil (about
which you asked) is impossible.


You can also check my previous post as to how Anselm's idea of the salvation of Adam and Eve differs from what we Orthodox are taught.

(http://home.eg-gym.dk/fagene/religion/Ortodokse%20kirke/Pdox/christ-descent2+M-X.jpg)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 12, 2007, 08:56:11 AM


The point being made is that the juridicial view is not neglected.  Many Orthodox consider the juridicial view heretical.  Even though he may have written more about ontology, he did not let alone the juridicial side of salvation.

I don't think these were misleading quotes.  If they were misleading, you would prove to us how these quotes are not juridicial.

Even a small part on St. Athanasius' "On the Incarnation" writes about some sort of "debt:"

This also proves that an Eastern Father did not merely say that Christ died "with all," but on behalf of all.  To play that "Koine Greek" game simply puts St. Athanasius in the wrong.

God bless.

Mina

(20) We have dealt as far as circumstances and our own understanding permit with the reason for His bodily manifestation. We have seen that to change the corruptible to incorruption was proper to none other than the Savior Himself, Who in the beginning made all things out of nothing; that only the Image of the Father could re-create the likeness of the Image in men, that none save our Lord Jesus Christ could give to mortals immortality, and that only the Word Who orders all things and is alone the Father's true and sole-begotten Son could teach men about Him and abolish the worship of idols But beyond all this, there was a debt owing which must needs be paid; for, as I said before, all men were due to die. Here, then, is the second reason why the Word dwelt among us, namely that having proved His Godhead by His works, He might offer the sacrifice on behalf of all, surrendering His own temple to death in place of all, to settle man's account with death and free him from the primal transgression. In the same act also He showed Himself mightier than death, displaying His own body incorruptible as the first-fruits of the resurrection.

I think St. Athanasius is being misrepresented by some here. The only debt that was paid was to that of death, so Christ could give to mortals, immortality. Primal transgression is the state that humanity fell into after the fall. We took on flesh. This is the consequences of original sin. To reverse this Christ was put to death as the only sinless one.
 I really don't see any juridicial view in any of his writings unless there read out of context.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 12, 2007, 10:04:19 AM
Regarding anti-Western Bias
I recognize that the RC church has introduced some teachings and practices that I, as an Orthodox Christian, must reject as heresies: ...

But I also recognize how nearsighted and wrong it is for me to reject many RC teachings as heretical merely because they're not Eastern

Bingo!

ozgeorge:
Quote
I don't know how many times I have to say this. No one is arguing that the western Church was not Orthodox before the schism.

Which wasn't my point either - there are things correctly Orthodox, theology and praxis, which continued in the West until the present. The West is not monolithic, the West is not monolithic, the West is not monolithic. If it was, there woudn't have been all the Western converts. The argument many are making is that "West" is inherently corrupt. Its a convenient dualistic (and simplistic) demonisation, but it doesn't help the case when discussing with Westerners ... unless the goal is to keep them all away. The point is - much in the West *post-schism* is not heretical (either being unchanged from before, or while being new - not contrary to Orthodoxy.)

Quote
From the website of St. Paul Antiochian Western Rite Orthodox Church:

What they do is no business of ours. Again, I'm Russian Western Rite Orthodox - we've been around much longer. Our hosts are leavened bread, which can actually be of any form as long as they meet the canonical specifications. Most often they are small prosfora similar to the Russian (but not stacked).

Part of the issue here, I think, is trying to treat the writings of Church Fathers and others (like Anselm) as if they were all trying to write dogmatic assertions. Theolougmena, people. Many of our sainted Church Fathers wrote things that if held as dogma would qualify one as a heretic.

The issue with Anselm - the OP is an article attacking - who? Who is asserting that Anselm is the correct belief? More importantly, who would agree that the article accurately reflects Anselm's thought? Which is why we Orthodox have to do better than that. If we're going to argue apologetics, we have to argue with the theology and praxis people actually have - not against non-current historical positions, or against parodies of positions. And, as I've tried to make the point - arguing against 'West' isn't apologetics, it is race hatred.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 12, 2007, 04:46:08 PM
(20) We have dealt as far as circumstances and our own understanding permit with the reason for His bodily manifestation. We have seen that to change the corruptible to incorruption was proper to none other than the Savior Himself, Who in the beginning made all things out of nothing; that only the Image of the Father could re-create the likeness of the Image in men, that none save our Lord Jesus Christ could give to mortals immortality, and that only the Word Who orders all things and is alone the Father's true and sole-begotten Son could teach men about Him and abolish the worship of idols But beyond all this, there was a debt owing which must needs be paid; for, as I said before, all men were due to die. Here, then, is the second reason why the Word dwelt among us, namely that having proved His Godhead by His works, He might offer the sacrifice on behalf of all, surrendering His own temple to death in place of all, to settle man's account with death and free him from the primal transgression. In the same act also He showed Himself mightier than death, displaying His own body incorruptible as the first-fruits of the resurrection.

I think St. Athanasius is being misrepresented by some here. The only debt that was paid was to that of death, so Christ could give to mortals, immortality. Primal transgression is the state that humanity fell into after the fall. We took on flesh. This is the consequences of original sin. To reverse this Christ was put to death as the only sinless one.
 I really don't see any juridicial view in any of his writings unless there read out of context.

Dear Demetrious,

The reason you are giving is an ontological reason.  It would make no sense if the "second reason" St. Athanasius talks about was the first reason you are giving.  That's like saying:

1.  The first reason was to end our corruptions and mortalities.
2.  The second reason was paying a debt to death, ending our corruptions and mortalities.

To me, that would misrepresent St. Athanasius as someone who just doesn't know how to give different reasons.

Dear Theognosis,

Can you explain that quote more?  I don't understand how that's heretical.

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 12, 2007, 05:41:14 PM
The West is not monolithic, the West is not monolithic,.......... And, as I've tried to make the point - arguing against 'West' isn't apologetics, it is race hatred.
The west is not monolithic, yet anyone who argues against them is racist......
So basically, what you're saying is rather than rejecting bad theology, the "truth" is that I hate: Italians, Celts, Anglo-Saxons, the French Germans, Fins, the Dutch.... Or do you think the "West" is a race? But hang on, I must also hate Greeks, because I reject the theology of Barlaam the Calabrian...::)
Gimme a break!
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 12, 2007, 05:54:27 PM
What I'm saying is: by all means reject bad theology, but quit confusing us (the West) with that bad theology. The West is not a particular theology - it is a region, interrelated peoples, and their civilization in its multiplicity of cultures - which us of the West *love*. Rejection of the West is not rejection of 'bad theology' but is rejection of what the West actually is: people.

So - say you reject Anselm's theology. I say I reject Anselm's theology. But, if you're going to reject 'the West' - remember you are rejecting all those who disagree with Anselm who are the West (me, many other Orthodox, St. Hilary, St. John Cassian, St. Ambrose, St. Vincent, St. Irenaeus, St. Hippolytus, St. Gregory the Great/Dialogist, St. Gregory of Tours, etc.)

Don't confuse Anselm, systems based on misunderstanding St. Augustine, or Thomas Aquinas as 'the West' either. Aquinas himself wasn't a Thomist. And Aristotlean Scholasticism never gained such absolute power in the West that there weren't Western Hesychasts or Hesychastic theologians (there were, in fact - just not as a 'school'. They didn't need one.)

Barlaam, though, was Italian - there are Italian hesychasts though.

The West is not Anselmian.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 12, 2007, 06:05:33 PM
Dear Demetrious,

The reason you are giving is an ontological reason.  It would make no sense if the "second reason" St. Athanasius talks about was the first reason you are giving.  That's like saying:

1.  The first reason was to end our corruptions and mortalities.
2.  The second reason was paying a debt to death, ending our corruptions and mortalities.

To me, that would misrepresent St. Athanasius as someone who just doesn't know how to give different reasons.

Dear Theognosis,

Can you explain that quote more?  I don't understand how that's heretical.

God bless.

The first reason is stated here.

that only the Word Who orders all things and is alone the Father's true and sole-begotten Son could teach men about Him and abolish the worship of idols
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 12, 2007, 06:15:10 PM
Aristibule,
This may come as a shock to you, but I live in the West, and was born in the West.
When, as Christians, we speak of "East" and "West", we are referring to the two sides of the Great Schism, not to races.
Quote
Don't confuse Anselm, systems based on misunderstanding St. Augustine, or Thomas Aquinas as 'the West' either.
So what you want me to believe is that none of these have had any influence on the theology of the Roman Catholic Church and the Churches which split off from her in the reformation.....
Quote
Barlaam, though, was Italian - there are Italian hesychasts though.
Barlaam was Calabrian. Ethnically he was Greek, and ecclesiastically was originally Greek Orthodox. He only converted to Roman Catholicism after losing the battle with St. Gregory Palamas. His cacodoxy was, in my opinion, a direct result of the Western Captivity of the Orthodox Church in Calabria.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 12, 2007, 06:41:13 PM
This may come as a shock to you, but I live in the West, and was born in the West.
When, as Christians, we speak of "East" and "West", we are referring to the two sides of the Great Schism, not to races.So what you want me to believe is that none of these have had any influence on the theology of the Roman Catholic Church and the Churches which split off from her in the reformation.....

No shock - I just don't find that you undestand the West very well.

There were two sides in the Great Schism, but not everyone in the East was on one side, and not everyone in the West on the other. And yes, what I am affirming is that Anselm's notions have not (and were not) universally received by everyone in the West. Of course, the 'Roman Catholic Church' did not exist at that time - there were many Catholic churches in the West, generally (but not universally) looking to Rome as first amongst bishops in the West. (The term Roman Catholic is actually quite late, post-Reformation, and was originally a derogatory English term.) The West was still having internal disagreements over theology at that time, as it would continue to. The point is that it was a complicated situation, and that for all that did follow Anselm - not everyone did (just as there were some in the West who proposed what Barlaam would not assent to, or those who did not assent to the Thomistic school of thought.) For every canon in Roman Catholic history, there have always continued to be dissenters (more often quiet about their dissent whenever Rome cared to seek them out.)

So, the argument is still that both the ideas and the terminology are *wrong* - call it Anselmian, or Western in the sense that it is one of many ideas arising in the West, but it is not the theology of *the* West (and never was.)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 12, 2007, 06:58:47 PM
So, the argument is still that both the ideas and the terminology are *wrong* - call it Anselmian, or Western in the sense that it is one of many ideas arising in the West, but it is not the theology of *the* West (and never was.)
You seem to think that my problem with Western theology is Anselm, Augustine, Aquinas (intersting, I only just noticed they all start with "A", so I wonder if thats the problem :D).
My issue isn't simply these philosophers & theologians, my issue is with what happened to the Church in the West and what it became leading up to and after the split. From the Orthodox perspective, the Church in the West fell into heresy, and is still in it.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 12, 2007, 07:01:54 PM
Well, in this instance - it is Anselm. If discussing other theologies, or sectarian splits - name them. But they aren't the West. From an Orthodox perspective, the West is Orthodox - you've got us Westerners (Byzantine rite and Western rite), and except for a few self-haters, they aren't the East. Apparently, your problem is that you don't believe the West can leave heresy or schism ... even when we are right here already in the Church.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 12, 2007, 07:43:52 PM
From an Orthodox perspective, the West is Orthodox - you've got us Westerners (Byzantine rite and Western rite), and except for a few self-haters, they aren't the East. Apparently, your problem is that you don't believe the West can leave heresy or schism ... even when we are right here already in the Church.
No, my problem is that the Church in the West is still in the Western Captivity, hence the farces we've seen in the WCC in the past which have only started to be resolved in the recent years (begining with the Thessaloniki Communique). The West is no longer Orthodox, and the Eastern Orthodox in the West easily slip into the same errors. I have no doubt that the West could recover it's Orthodoxy, but unlike yourself, I don't believe it has done so yet. The West has 1200 years to fix (from the start of the filioque).
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 12, 2007, 08:55:07 PM
And the Orthodox have 1,200 years to recover their Catholicity.  :)

The filioque and the three A's are and have always been, in my opinion, just cover for ambitious Constantinople's rejection of papal primacy. 
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 12, 2007, 09:18:32 PM
And the Orthodox have 1,200 years to recover their Catholicity.  :)

The filioque and the three A's are and have always been, in my opinion, just cover for ambitious Constantinople's rejection of papal primacy. 

I know that's your opinion. I wouldn't expect anything else from you. :)
But this thread is dealing with a theological issue in the Orthodox Church (hence it is in the Faith Issues Forum). If you wish to discuss who's right and who's wrong between Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, perhaps you'd like to start (yet another) thread about it in the Catholic-Orthodox Discussion Forum.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 12, 2007, 09:29:21 PM
No thanks. We both know how that would turn out :)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 12, 2007, 09:32:31 PM
No thanks. We both know how that would turn out :)
I do. So let's not start it here. ;)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 12, 2007, 09:51:54 PM
I'm not sure your understanding yet minasoliman. I'll try and clear it up a bit. Death was dealt with in two different areas by our savior.  It had to be dealt with the father and the devil. That is why it's stated two times. St Gregory also deals with it twice by calling it a ransom and a reconciliation. The ransom is paid to the devil and so the devil is bound by having killed a sinless man. The reconciliation is to the father so as Christ the head and the body (us) can be reconciled.
The reason most don't understand this is because they think that god the father is linked to his creation. He isn't. We have to be in communion with Christ to have access to the father.
John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 13, 2007, 12:20:50 AM
Theognosis and Demetrios,

You both seem rather cocksure and dogmatic in how you present your reasoning.  How do you know with such certainty that what you present is indeed THE definitive Orthodox position?  Has the Church really defined a consensual dogmatic position on this theological issue?  Does she even need to?  Or do you two just need to prove yourselves correct to assuage your pride?

I like the quote some other poster here drew from C.S. Lewis: "I believe Christ's death and resurrection redeems me from sin--just don't ask me how."
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 13, 2007, 01:16:46 AM
Whoever put the "anti-Easternism" tag on the bottom of this thread must have a sense of humor. Nobody here has denied the validity of the Eastern perspective. I guess it's considered anti-Eastern these days to insist that dogmatizing one exclusive Atonement view is misguided.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 13, 2007, 02:08:40 AM
I'm not sure your understanding yet minasoliman. I'll try and clear it up a bit. Death was dealt with in two different areas by our savior.  It had to be dealt with the father and the devil. That is why it's stated two times. St Gregory also deals with it twice by calling it a ransom and a reconciliation. The ransom is paid to the devil and so the devil is bound by having killed a sinless man. The reconciliation is to the father so as Christ the head and the body (us) can be reconciled.
The reason most don't understand this is because they think that god the father is linked to his creation. He isn't. We have to be in communion with Christ to have access to the father.
John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Well, okay.  I understand that no one can come to the Father except through Christ.  To be in communion with God was already happening way before the Incarnation, before the Fall.  What was Adam doing "walking with God?"  I suppose this isn't some sort side-by-side literal walking, with arm distance so as not to be in communion "yet" until the Son is Incarnate.

But does God like to be in communion with those who have fallen into corruption, as well as those who are born into it?  No!  Why?  Well, according to St. Athanasius, this was considered a punishment to us, separating ourselves from God.  If it was a mere sin that had no corrupt consequences, sure, we would repent, and be in communion with the Father through the Son once more.  But if corruption occured, not only does Christ has to reconcile us with God in repentance of our sins, but also take away that corruption that ails us all.  These are the two reasons, to renew our creation by the same Image that created us, and to take away the debt that exists between us and the Father.

Quote
It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die; but it was equally monstrous that beings which once had shared the nature of the Word should perish and turn back again into non-existence through corruption.

Notice here, God cannot go back on His word, to be consistent.  While, men brought death upon himself, St. Athanasius is saying that God does have the power to bring them out of death, but He promised them that they will "surely die."  At the same time, because God loved them, He could not just let them perish.  So to satisfy both Divine Consistency and Divine Love, where "mercy and justice have kissed," the Word of God had to be Incarnate.  Again, St. Athanasius asks:

Quote
Was He to demand repentance from men for their transgression? You might say that that was worthy of God, and argue further that, as through the Transgression they became subject to corruption, so through repentance they might return to incorruption again. But repentance would not guard the Divine consistency, for, if death did not hold dominion over men, God would still remain untrue. Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning.

Therefore, it's not just corruption that is the issue, but also God's consistency that needs to be guarded.  Therefore the solution:

Quote
What--or rather Who was it that was needed for such grace and such recall as we required? Who, save the Word of God Himself, Who also in the beginning had made all things out of nothing? His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.

Notice, I bolded and underlined "and" to show that there are two reasons, not just one, for the Incarnation.

He repeats that same language later using the word "debt."  He already gives the first reason, which is puting the corruptible into incorruption:

Quote
We have dealt as far as circumstances and our own understanding permit with the reason for His bodily manifestation. We have seen that to change the corruptible to incorruption was proper to none other than the Savior Himself, Who in the beginning made all things out of nothing; that only the Image of the Father could re-create the likeness of the Image in men, that none save our Lord Jesus Christ could give to mortals immortality, and that only the Word Who orders all things and is alone the Father's true and sole-begotten Son could teach men about Him and abolish the worship of idols

And the second reason was to pay a certain debt, different from the above reason:

Quote
But beyond all this, there was a debt owing which must needs be paid; for, as I said before, all men were due to die. Here, then, is the second reason why the Word dwelt among us, namely that having proved His Godhead by His works, He might offer the sacrifice on behalf of all, surrendering His own temple to death in place of all, to settle man's account with death and free him from the primal transgression. In the same act also He showed Himself mightier than death, displaying His own body incorruptible as the first-fruits of the resurrection.

And this is to keep the consistency of the Father while preserving His love and goodness.  I guess many other Holy fathers, whether it be East or West, have replaced the word "consistency" with the word "wrath."  But in any instance, St. Athanasius is very clear in his famous thesis, "On the Incarnation."  So I don't understand how you came up with that "first reason," i.e. being closer to the Father and abolishing the worship of idols.  This is only part, albeit a large part, of getting them to become in incorruption.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 13, 2007, 03:56:06 AM
Don't confuse Anselm, systems based on misunderstanding St. Augustine, or Thomas Aquinas as 'the West' either.

If Anselm, Augustine and Aquinas do not represent the theology of 'the West', then who does?  Mother Theresa?

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 13, 2007, 10:17:27 AM
Well, okay.  I understand that no one can come to the Father except through Christ.  To be in communion with God was already happening way before the Incarnation, before the Fall.  What was Adam doing "walking with God?"  I suppose this isn't some sort side-by-side literal walking, with arm distance so as not to be in communion "yet" until the Son is Incarnate.



But does God like to be in communion with those who have fallen into corruption, as well as those who are born into it?  No!  Why?  Well, according to St. Athanasius, this was considered a punishment to us, separating ourselves from God.  If it was a mere sin that had no corrupt consequences, sure, we would repent, and be in communion with the Father through the Son once more.  But if corruption occured, not only does Christ has to reconcile us with God in repentance of our sins, but also take away that corruption that ails us all.  These are the two reasons, to renew our creation by the same Image that created us, and to take away the debt that exists between us and the Father.

Notice here, God cannot go back on His word, to be consistent.  While, men brought death upon himself, St. Athanasius is saying that God does have the power to bring them out of death, but He promised them that they will "surely die."  At the same time, because God loved them, He could not just let them perish.  So to satisfy both Divine Consistency and Divine Love, where "mercy and justice have kissed," the Word of God had to be Incarnate.  Again, St. Athanasius asks:


You making a big mistake. We don't owe any thing to the father. We are the ones that seperated our selves from him. When we ate from the tree of knowlege we did so to become our own gods out of pride. The consequenses of this is death. Because created is finite. It has to be in communion with the uncreated to be imortal.

For example St Athanasius writes that:


Grudging existence to none therefore, He made all things out of nothing through His own Word, our Lord Jesus Christ; and of all these His earthly creatures He reserved especial mercy for the race of men. Upon them, therefore upon men who as animals, were essentially impermanent, He bestowed a grace which other creatures lacked- namely the impress of His own Image, a share in the reasonable being of the very Word Himself, so that, reflecting Him and and themselves becoming reasonable and expressing the Mind of God even as He does, though in a limited degree, they might continue for ever in the blessed and only true life of the saints in paradise. (3) 

In chap 4 St Athansius continues:

For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again. The presence & love of the Word had called them into being; inevitably therefore when they lost the knowledge of God, they lost existence with it; for it is God alone Who exists, evil is non-being, the negation and antithesis of good. 


What your missing is the role of the Holy spirit in uniting created and uncreated. The Church is located within this Triadic plan, where the Father favors, the Son is the One Who offers Himself so that Creation can become incorporated and be able to have a relationship with the Father, and the Holy Spirit is the One Who liberates Creation from its limitations, from the restrictions of being created.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 13, 2007, 11:18:10 AM
Quote
Whoever put the "anti-Easternism" tag on the bottom of this thread must have a sense of humor.

I had a good laugh when I saw that.

Quote
Nobody here has denied the validity of the Eastern perspective.

Least of all you I would suspect, since the Catholic Church declares the Eastern and Western views to be complementary.

Quote
I guess it's considered anti-Eastern these days to insist that dogmatizing one exclusive Atonement view is misguided.

Whether it's "anti" anything is actually just irrelevant.  There is no dogmatic statement beyond the creed, and what in the past have been considered authoritative sources for understanding what Orthodoxy teaches are now clearly rejected or ignored; probably because they don't fit many of the views or agendas currently being presented as the Orthodox understanding.

The thread title then is really a misnomer, because there is really no basis for saying what the thread title implies, because there is no dogma beyond the creed.  Any number of viewpoints could be theoretically valid.  What we have is a boondoggle to show somehow that the West has not moved beyond the Medieval period, and is stuck in some particular understanding of the Atonement.  Actually reading the essay again, I noticed this

Quote
Only now, are both Roman Catholic and Protestants taking a serious and critical look at this particular theory of atonement.

which now stands out to me as the most ridiculous statement of all.  Most of the serious and critical work about the Atonement has been done by Catholics and Protestants, such as the works of Aulen or Girard. The Catholic church is obviously not stuck in any one view - be it St. Augustine, St. Anselm or St. Thomas Aquinas.  It isn't even stuck in the Western paradigm as attested by the various liturgical and theological traditions that make up the Catholic Church.  It can also point to an authoritative and current catechism to express what it's understanding of the redemptive acts of Christ mean.

Our authority I guess is the liturgical texts (a dangerous idea in its own right) and the court of private opinion and interpretation (be it books, essays, or posts such as these).

This is a rather disconcerting thread, because all of the above when taken together is rather suggestive of the fact that the Orthodox view may be totally subjective and transitory in regards to the Atonement (and thus who knows what else).
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 13, 2007, 01:14:01 PM
Dear Demetrios,

I fail to see or find anything in your post that outright proves I'm wrong or misinterpreting anything.  I never denied it was our fault, and I never excluded (or included for that matter) the Holy Spirit's role in our salvation.  I don't see how any of what you have cited or written negates the fact that Divine Consistency had to be preserved, and that is the "debt" that St. Athanasius was alluding to.

See, all this time, Orthodox has been trying to prove that there is one reason why the Word was incarnate, to unite the created and the uncreated.  But I have never found a contemporary "anti-Western" Orthodox mention anything about the Athanasian (HEY, there's someone that begin's with an "A"  ;D ) idea of also preserving the Divine Consistency.

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 13, 2007, 02:19:09 PM

Our authority I guess is the liturgical texts (a dangerous idea in its own right) and the court of private opinion and interpretation (be it books, essays, or posts such as these).

How else would you have illiterate masses learn the theology of the church through the centuries? It seemed to keep the faith whole and kept most of the Orthodox world on the same page over the centuries. You must have thought so yourself because you were willing to convert in the 20th century. I think the Holy Fathers were brilliant to put our Creed, hymns, and the Holy Scripture into our services. Memorizing through hymn and prayer is an excellent teaching tool to help with memorization.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Fr. George on April 13, 2007, 02:57:04 PM
How else would you have illiterate masses learn the theology of the church through the centuries? It seemed to keep the faith whole and kept most of the Orthodox world on the same page over the centuries. You must have thought so yourself because you were willing to convert in the 20th century. I think the Holy Fathers were brilliant to put our Creed, hymns, and the Holy Scripture into our services. Memorizing through hymn and prayer is an excellent teaching tool to help with memorization. 

{aside}
Well - hymns and prayers weren't the only way: sermons were a big deal, and some were even like political speeches (especially during contentious times, like the Arian Controversy, when the masses were swayed to one camp or another largely by rhetoric used in the sermons and speeches).  {/aside}
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 13, 2007, 02:59:37 PM
{aside}
Well - hymns and prayers weren't the only way: sermons were a big deal, and some were even like political speeches (especially during contentious times, like the Arian Controversy, when the masses were swayed to one camp or another largely by rhetoric used in the sermons and speeches).  {/aside}
If only they'd listened to the hymns instead. ;)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Fr. George on April 13, 2007, 03:01:29 PM
If only they'd listened to the hymns instead. ;)

Where would the fun be??? :D
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 13, 2007, 03:16:15 PM
Quote
How else would you have illiterate masses learn the theology of the church through the centuries?

Primarily through the liturgical services, sermons and the art that adorns our churches.  I'm not questioning the idea of lex orandi, lex credendi at all.  We are a liturgical church, and it is in the liturgy that our faith is best put in to a tangible and communal form.  Yet I would still say our liturgical texts, hymns etc. in and of themselves cannot be considered the deposit of faith or the ultimate authority in the church.  The Old Believer's for instance believed that by changing the form of the liturgy, that the Russian Church by instituting the Nikonian reforms was actually altering the faith itself.  As sympathetic as I am to the plight of the Old Rite, and as horrendous as I think their persecution was, I don't think they were actually correct (though of course neither was Nikon in his assumptions, but that's another story).
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 13, 2007, 03:19:48 PM
The Old Believer's for instance believed that by changing the form of the liturgy, that the Russian Church by instituting the Nikonian reforms was actually altering the faith itself.
And they were right. Russian Priests now think they have the power to forgive sins. ;)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 13, 2007, 03:26:35 PM
And they were right. Russian Priests now think they have the power to forgive sins. ;)

George,

Why do Russian priests believe they now have the power to forgive sins? I know Antiochian and Greek priests do not teach these ideas.

Thank you, Tamara

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 13, 2007, 03:31:58 PM
George,

Why do Russian priests believe they now have the power to forgive sins? I know Antiochian and Greek priests do not teach these ideas.

Thank you, Tamara


The Metropolitan of Kiev (1633-47), Peter Moghila, introduced a new Prayer of Absolution based on the Roman Catholic formula which says:"May Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, through the grace and bounties of His love towards mankind, forgive you, my Child [Name] all your transgressions. And I, an unworthy Priest, through the power given me by Him, forgive and absolve you from all yours sins."
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Aristibule on April 13, 2007, 04:12:05 PM
If Anselm, Augustine and Aquinas do not represent the theology of 'the West', then who does?  Mother Theresa?

Well, she might for some small group of Catholics and Protestants. I'm not sure I'd consider her a theologian. I've already listed several times several Western theologians who were as important (far more important to some of us in the West.)

St. Justin Martyr
St. Irenaeus of Lyons
St. Hippolytus of Rome
St. Ambrose of Milan
St. Hilary of Poitiers
St. Gregory the Great (the Dialogist)
St. Adomnan of Iona
St. Gregory of Tours
St. Jerome (often says opposite things as St. Augustine)
St. Dionysius the Areopagite
St. Cyprian of Carthage
St. Vincent of Lerins
St. John Cassian (the theological basis of all Western monasticism)
St. Benedict of Nursia
St. Leo the Great
St. Prosper of Aquitaine
St. Isidore of Seville
St. Leander of Seville
St. Ildephonse of Toledo
St. Alcuin of York
Pope Sylvester II
The Venerable Bede
Lactantius
Boethius
John Scotus Eriugena

and many, many others (I stopped pre-Schism, not even getting into Bernard of Clairvaux, Bernard of Chartres, Thierry of Chartres, etc.)  .... that is not an exhaustive list! (including many theological treatises, homilies, and other writings including liturgy that sometimes are anonymous.)


Much of Western theology is actually based on Eastern theologians who were widely read and venerated in the West:

St. John Chrysostom
St. Gregory Nazianzen
St. Gregory of Nyssa
St. Basil the Great
St. Clement of Alexandria
St. Ephraim the Syrian (esp. in England)
And again, many many others ...

The theological literature is actually immense (the more so the further along one gets) - and one can find reflections of Orthodox theology alongside Aristotlean views, or any number of other views. There is even a difference in theologies depending on locality. English theology tends to be very monastic in its influences, very ascetic - see Julian of Norwich. German Rhineland theology tends to be very mystical and florid in its writing. The Spanish mystics are yet another.

So, the what and who does matter - and for the 'big three' : Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Anselm of Aosta (I refuse him Canterbury, though as I noted before - he was the first to use the ontological argument in theology, and opposed the Crusades as well.) One can find Western theologians who teach quite the opposite of all of them. Some of them didn't even teach what their names are now associated with (rather, later men made doctrine of their speculative writings - of which St. Photius the Great noted concerning St. Augustine Hippo, and as many recently have noted of Thomas Aquinas - who was no Thomist himself!) St. Jerome was as important to Western theology, but yet again one can find him opposing St. Augustine on many important matters (consider marriage and sexuality especially.) Then again, there were also Westerners who took theology from some such as Origen and Tertullian (but again, not all.) That being said - there is no 'Western theology',  though many - and included within Western theology is everything 'Eastern' theology has dogmatized, everything required for salvation, and many opinions also shared with 'the East' that are not dogma.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 13, 2007, 05:23:29 PM
Dear Demetrios,

I fail to see or find anything in your post that outright proves I'm wrong or misinterpreting anything.  I never denied it was our fault, and I never excluded (or included for that matter) the Holy Spirit's role in our salvation.  I don't see how any of what you have cited or written negates the fact that Divine Consistency had to be preserved, and that is the "debt" that St. Athanasius was alluding to.

See, all this time, Orthodox has been trying to prove that there is one reason why the Word was incarnate, to unite the created and the uncreated.  But I have never found a contemporary "anti-Western" Orthodox mention anything about the Athanasian (HEY, there's someone that begin's with an "A"  ;D ) idea of also preserving the Divine Consistency.

God bless.

What makes you so sure that dept was paid to the father? As I stated earlier the dept is paid but it's paid to the devil. St. Athanasian doesn't say anyware that the dept is paid to the father. Your just using you imagination to the point of not understanding how the trinity is involved in unision. How could Christ owe anything to his father. They are two persona's that do things in unison. Your position leaves us with to separate gods that are in opposition to each other. An a quick fix for not understanding the trinity.
If you are correct than how is the devil bound from receiving the dead? The western approach to this is pointless. It leaves us with the devil to still deal with. Plus two gods. How can you maintain Divine Consistency if One god is forcing us upon the other. Was it not the father that sends the son to save us from begin with? In any event it doesn't look like we can solve many years of separation on an internet board. You know very well the Orthodox position. I'll leave it at that. Peace
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 13, 2007, 05:32:14 PM
{aside}
Well - hymns and prayers weren't the only way: sermons were a big deal, and some were even like political speeches (especially during contentious times, like the Arian Controversy, when the masses were swayed to one camp or another largely by rhetoric used in the sermons and speeches).  {/aside}

And interestingly enough, the whole Arian controversy along with how St. Nicholas slapped him is written into our hymns. I remember singing the hymns for Vespers one evening during the summer.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 13, 2007, 06:44:58 PM
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16)


 
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 13, 2007, 06:53:09 PM
What makes you so sure that dept was paid to the father? As I stated earlier the dept is paid but it's paid to the devil. St. Athanasian doesn't say anyware that the dept is paid to the father. Your just using you imagination to the point of not understanding how the trinity is involved in unision. How could Christ owe anything to his father. They are two persona's that do things in unison. Your position leaves us with to separate gods that are in opposition to each other. An a quick fix for not understanding the trinity.
If you are correct than how is the devil bound from receiving the dead? The western approach to this is pointless. It leaves us with the devil to still deal with. Plus two gods. How can you maintain Divine Consistency if One god is forcing us upon the other. Was it not the father that sends the son to save us from begin with? In any event it doesn't look like we can solve many years of separation on an internet board. You know very well the Orthodox position. I'll leave it at that. Peace

I hope I haven't hit a nerve.

In addition, I don't think I'm using my own imagination.  I provided very clear quotes.  Somehow, St. Athanasius believed that the incarnation of the Word provided a means to preserve Divine Consistency and Divine Goodness.  Therefore, he solves this by showing that there is no separation in the Godhead.  I have seen nowhere in St. Athanasius indicating that the debt was paid to Satan.  In fact, when talking about Satan or death, he seems to mention destroying and defeating their power over mankind.  There's no debt to pay when you destroy something.

The last part that I bolded makes me question your credibility on knowing the Orthodox position.  I will ask the same question someone posed to you.  How are you so sure about the Orthodox position (not to mention, you deny the Orthodox position of worldwide Resurrection), despite there are many Orthodox positions posited here by your brothers in Christ, and those in the past (and those righteous "Eastern" fathers as well)?

Also, I've noticed that you imagined St. Athanasius's first reason for the Incarnation, and I showed you clearly that's not the case.  Who's imagining here?

And where did I say there was some "enforcement."  I said there was a consistency that had to be maintained.  The debt was to that consistency.

Let's stop being in denial and face the facts.

God bless.

PS  Not to mention, there you go again with that "Western approach" racism.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 13, 2007, 07:07:42 PM
PS  Not to mention, there you go again with that "Western approach" racism.
And there you go assuming the West is a "race". As I've already stated, Barlaam the Calabrian was Western, but he was Greek.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Νεκτάριος on April 13, 2007, 08:33:25 PM
Quote
How else would you have illiterate masses learn the theology of the church through the centuries?

The idea that anyone other than the most highly educated could make head or tales out of liturgical texts in times past is a stretch.  Even today it takes some strain for an educated native speaker of a Slavic language to understand much Church Slavonic or a Greek to understand many nuances in ecclesiastical Greek.  Furthermore many Orthodox people didn't have liturgical texts in their native language until fairly recently (Albanians and Romanians for example). 
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 13, 2007, 09:51:24 PM
And there you go assuming the West is a "race". As I've already stated, Barlaam the Calabrian was Western, but he was Greek.
So, what you're suggesting is that the West is not so much a race as it is a culture?  A general worldview?  An epistemology employed by the majority of those who live in the West, such that those who use this approach to understanding Truth can be called Western, regardless of where they live or whom they are?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 13, 2007, 10:00:17 PM

So what you're suggesting is that the West is not so much a race as it is a culture?  A general worldview?  A general epistemology employed by the majority of those who live in the West?
<heavy sigh>
I've already said several times on this thread what I mean by the "West", but it seems that people are so bent on stereotyping the "East", that nobody seems to want to hear what people from the "East" actually say....

Here are a few examples:
This may come as a shock to you, but I live in the West, and was born in the West.
When, as Christians, we speak of "East" and "West", we are referring to the two sides of the Great Schism, not to races.

The west is not monolithic, yet anyone who argues against them is racist......
So basically, what you're saying is rather than rejecting bad theology, the "truth" is that I hate: Italians, Celts, Anglo-Saxons, the French Germans, Fins, the Dutch.... Or do you think the "West" is a race? But hang on, I must also hate Greeks, because I reject the theology of Barlaam the Calabrian...::)
Gimme a break!
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 13, 2007, 10:14:02 PM
The theological literature is actually immense (the more so the further along one gets) - and one can find reflections of Orthodox theology alongside Aristotlean views, or any number of other views. There is even a difference in theologies depending on locality. English theology tends to be very monastic in its influences, very ascetic - see Julian of Norwich. German Rhineland theology tends to be very mystical and florid in its writing. The Spanish mystics are yet another.

So, the what and who does matter - and for the 'big three' : Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Anselm of Aosta (I refuse him Canterbury, though as I noted before - he was the first to use the ontological argument in theology, and opposed the Crusades as well.) One can find Western theologians who teach quite the opposite of all of them. Some of them didn't even teach what their names are now associated with (rather, later men made doctrine of their speculative writings - of which St. Photius the Great noted concerning St. Augustine Hippo, and as many recently have noted of Thomas Aquinas - who was no Thomist himself!) St. Jerome was as important to Western theology, but yet again one can find him opposing St. Augustine on many important matters (consider marriage and sexuality especially.) Then again, there were also Westerners who took theology from some such as Origen and Tertullian (but again, not all.) That being said - there is no 'Western theology',  though many - and included within Western theology is everything 'Eastern' theology has dogmatized, everything required for salvation, and many opinions also shared with 'the East' that are not dogma.

Thank you.  I pray that the Catholic Church looks back to its eastern roots and forgets its medieval past.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 13, 2007, 10:32:16 PM
Thank you.  I pray that the Catholic Church looks back to its eastern roots and forgets its medieval past.
Outside of the clear dogmatic differences that have been anathematized several times by the Orthodox Church as heresy (i.e., Filioque and universal papal sovereignty), just what is it that makes the East inherently superior to the West?  I am aware that Christianity started in the East (Jerusalem) from the garden of an Eastern religion (Judaism).  I am aware that the East had developed a very strong theological tradition long before St. Augustine laid much of the foundation for the later development of a distinctively Western tradition.  I am also aware that most of the earliest, most foundational theological controversies (e.g., the Arian Controversy, the often heated Christological debates between Antioch and Alexandria, even the war against Iconoclasm) and the Seven Ecumenical Councils convened to articulate Christian responses to these arguments took place predominantly in the East with little actual participation from the Western half of the Church.  But does this necessarily make the East intrinsically superior to the West?  (I honestly don't know.)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 13, 2007, 10:52:45 PM
But does this necessarily make the East intrinsically superior to the West?  (I honestly don't know.)
Not intrinsically, and no one has suggested that this is the case. The East is superior to the West only since the schism. Had the West maintained Orthodoxy and the East as a whole fallen into heterodoxy & cacodoxy, the tables would have been reversed.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 13, 2007, 11:02:42 PM
Not intrinsically, and no one has suggested that this is the case. The East is superior to the West only since the schism. Had the West maintained Orthodoxy and the East as a whole fallen into heterodoxy & cacodoxy, the tables would have been reversed.
I can agree with this.  But I don't--I'm not saying that you do--believe that the West fell into total darkness when the papal church departed from the fullness of Truth, nor do I deem Eastern epistemology devoid of all error merely because the Eastern worldview reigns predominant in the Church that remained true.  IMO, there is still much that is true in what we call the West, and there is still much to be criticized in what we call the East.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 13, 2007, 11:05:13 PM
there is still much to be criticized in what we call the East.
Such as?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 13, 2007, 11:08:14 PM
Such as?

Our anti-Western xenophobia, for one.  ;)

Seriously, I do have a problem with a strain of thought in Eastern dogmatics--this appears to my ignorant mind to be somewhat strong in the monastically-influenced Russian dogmatic theology of the last three centuries--that almost seeks to manufacture a patristic consensus on issues where there never was one (e.g., sexual relations before the Fall).  It often seems as if these theologians see Tradition through the prism of an ascetic spirituality developed in the monasteries and see only those Fathers who confirm what they already believe, squelching out the teachings of those many Fathers who saw a different perspective.  There might also be a tendency to rely on the traditions of the early Eastern Fathers while they ignore the contributions of early Western Fathers.  Ironically, the Russian dogmatic theology of the past three centuries where I see this tendency strongest was influenced heavily by teachers from the Latin West.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 13, 2007, 11:17:31 PM
Our anti-Western xenophobia, for one.  (But then, that does rate qualification.  Not all Easterners are so close-minded to Truth wherever it presents itself.)
But, do you see that if I had said something about the West's culture rather than it's theology like you just have said it about the East, I would immediatley be pounced on and called "racist" and "ethnocentric". So why the double standard? Why is it when the East objects to Western theology, it's "ethnocentrism" and "xenophobia", but when the West cannot object to Eastern theology, but attacks Eastern "culture" by stereotyping it, that's considered OK?
I'm talking about the West's theology, not "Westerners"; you, on the other hand, are responding by talking about "Easteners" and stereotyping them.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 13, 2007, 11:28:38 PM
But, do you see that if I had said something about the West's culture rather than it's theology like you just have said it about the East, I would immediatley be pounced on and called "racist" and "ethnocentric". So why the double standard? Why is it when the East objects to Western theology, it's "ethnocentrism" and "xenophobia", but when the West cannot object to Eastern theology, but attacks Eastern "culture" by stereotyping it, that's considered OK?
I'm talking about the West's theology, not "Westerners"; you, on the other hand, are responding by talking about "Easteners" and stereotyping them.

You might want to go back and reread the post to which the above is a response.  I changed it quite a bit; so it might now mean something totally different.

I honestly hope I'm not saying anything that appears to be stereotyping any culture.  If so, please forgive me.  I'm trying to limit my discourse here to those issues that are most important to us Orthodox: issues of theology and doctrine.

Just so you understand, I have come to appreciate the beauty of Eastern ways of thought and have in fact grown very disenchanted with much of what I see in Western culture and many of the theological methods of the Western churches, but this does NOT mean that I see the East as perfect and the West as utterly apostate.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 13, 2007, 11:55:49 PM
Ironically, the Russian dogmatic theology of the past three centuries where I see this tendency strongest was influenced heavily by teachers from the Latin West.
That's right, which is why, as I've pointed out on this thread before, their Priests "absolve and forgive" sins "by the power given to them" in mimicry of the Latin formula "Ego te absolvo". Whereas the formula for Antiocian and Greek Priests has them saying: "I, unworthy and a sinner, have not the power to forgive sins on Earth"
This is the result of what some (including myself) call "The Western Captivity" of the Church. In other words, the theological and dogmatic problems in parts of the Eastern Church have come from adopting the theology and dogma of the Western Church.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 14, 2007, 12:06:10 AM
this does NOT mean that I see the East as perfect and the West as utterly apostate.

We are in agreement here.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 14, 2007, 12:06:44 AM
That's right, which is why, as I've pointed out on this thread before, their Priests "absolve and forgive" sins "by the power given to them" in mimicry of the Latin formula "Ego te absolvo". Whereas the formula for Antiocian and Greek Priests has them saying: "I, unworthy and a sinner, have not the power to forgive sins on Earth"
This is the result of what some (including myself) call "The Western Captivity" of the Church.
So, what I read you saying is that you object primarily to the general direction Western theology has gone since the Schism and to the undue influence much of post-Schism Western theology has had on some sectors of Eastern Christendom.  With this sentiment I do agree.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 14, 2007, 01:38:58 AM
I hope I haven't hit a nerve.

In addition, I don't think I'm using my own imagination.  I provided very clear quotes.  Somehow, St. Athanasius believed that the incarnation of the Word provided a means to preserve Divine Consistency and Divine Goodness.  Therefore, he solves this by showing that there is no separation in the Godhead.  I have seen nowhere in St. Athanasius indicating that the debt was paid to Satan.  In fact, when talking about Satan or death, he seems to mention destroying and defeating their power over mankind.  There's no debt to pay when you destroy something.

Everybody one day will die. Death itself is a debt thats owed because of the consequence of sin. Christ died blameless. He shouldn't have died at all because he was sinless. Why did he die than? Did he die to satisfy the father? ::)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 14, 2007, 01:59:32 AM
To satisfy the divine justice or the divine consistency. It is just that we all die for rejecting God through sin. But God has providently chosen to follow his own law, so he saves us by becoming one of us, laying down his blameless life in sacrifice for us, and rising on the third day. So Christ is satisfying the law of the Father. The sin-debt was paid to the law.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 14, 2007, 02:09:31 AM
It is just that we all die for rejecting God through sin....
And this is where our theologies part ways. In Eastern theology, death is the natural consequence of sin, just like a third degree burn is the natural consequence of holding a live coal in your hand. It is not "just", and nor is God "just" as we understand justice. He is "rich in compassion, gracious and forgiving, slow to anger, merciful and kind.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 14, 2007, 03:10:34 AM
To satisfy the divine justice or the divine consistency. It is just that we all die for rejecting God through sin. But God has providently chosen to follow his own law, so he saves us by becoming one of us, laying down his blameless life in sacrifice for us, and rising on the third day. So Christ is satisfying the law of the Father. The sin-debt was paid to the law.
Another way one could look at this:
God created Man to live in communion with Him.  This communion is our life.  Sin breaks our communion with God.  Separated from our Life in this way, we can only fall into the dissolution of death.  But in His infinite love for mankind, God made Himself incarnate as the man Jesus Christ in order to destroy death by His own death.  Christ, the Life of all creation, entered the realm of death by submitting willfully to the excruciating torment of the Cross.  Death is the absence of life, so where Life is present death cannot be.  Christ then finalized His destruction of death by rising from the dead on the third day.  I believe this is a rough paraphrase of some thoughts found in the writings of St. Athanasius and maybe from the Pascha homily of St. John Chrysostom, though I could certainly be wrong.

I suppose one can use juridical concepts to speak of our redemption via Christ's death and resurrection and still remain Orthodox--this doesn't appear entirely unprecedented in the writings of the Eastern Fathers.  (Early Eastern theology appears to have emphasized more the ontological nature of salvation, while early Western theology apparently tended to focus more on salvation's juridical aspects.  Neither side was very monolithic in its emphasis, though, because of the frequent dialogue between East and West prior to the fall of Old Rome.  One could even say that both emphases could be united to form a more complete understanding of Christ's redemptive work and that East and West each placed a check on the other to keep the other faithful to Truth.  However, the Western church's departure from orthodoxy changed all this by allowing both sides the "freedom" to pursue the more extreme conclusions of their divergent theological approaches.)  The danger is in carrying this juridical tendency too far, as we fear some prominent post-Schism Western theologians have done.  But then, is it not possible also for some threads of Eastern theology to carry our ontological arguments to untenable extremes?  Didn't we see something like this in the debates between the Antiochene and Alexandrian schools of Christology, where some theologians on each side carried the arguments of their school too far, extreme Antiochenes following Nestorius and extreme Alexandrians becoming Monophysite?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 14, 2007, 04:55:58 AM
And this is where our theologies part ways. In Eastern theology, death is the natural consequence of sin, just like a third degree burn is the natural consequence of holding a live coal in your hand. It is not "just", and nor is God "just" as we understand justice. He is "rich in compassion, gracious and forgiving, slow to anger, merciful and kind.

But here's the weird part.  At the very beginning of this thread, many people decided to show how Eastern fathers believed in the same juridicial approach.

Here's the usual attack against the juridicial approach:  "You're turning salvation into nothing but a Godly desire to satisfy His bloodthirsty wrath."

This is the usual polemical attack, and it fails, simply because you're making out this theology into something it's not intended.

Let's say the word "wrath" is used.  Well, you can't deny this basic Biblical language, and we know that any emotion used to describe God cannot be a simply human emotion, but something that is not understood.  In fact, this could complement what many fathers considered:  the self-same wrath of Hell used against sinners is the exact same Divine Fire of Love of Paradise for the righteous.  On that token, one can see that this is simply a reaction to a sinner.  Then it makes sense that anyone who sins invokes upon himself the Wrath of God.

Now, the second attack is that issue that the debt must be paid to the Father, to "satisfy the Father."  It has been shared the God is not in need of anything.  Yet, St. Athanasius shows us that if man sinned, there is a predicament:

1.  Should God allow man to be brought into non-existence, then this argues limitation against God, since He created man in futility, and wouldn't "satisfy" God's goodness.
2.  Should God fix man immediately or demand repentance, then this would go against God's word that man will surely die, and limiting God, not "satisfying" His Divine consistency.

These are the two parts of "satisfaction," although satisfaction can be a weak word.  It's more keeping consistent God's true nature of goodness and justice.  If He is both Loving and Just, God had to save man in accordance with those two, and He could only do it by sending His Only Begotten Son to take flesh.  Only the Word Incarnate, who is God Incarnate, can pretty much fix man, while at the same time satisfy both God's Love and Justice.

Therefore, if one says that Christ satisfied God's "wrath," and we know that it's just that God's wrath is on sin and corruption, while at the same time, we know that God so "loved" the world, and we know that both "wrath" and "love" is actually the same thing as defined by Eastern Fathers, you cannot say that the juridicial approach parts ways with the ontological approach, but I see the complementing, just as Peter mentioned.

I'm going to requote EA's quotes of St. Athanasius, since they're very important in showing St. Athanasius' thoughts:

Quote
"Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all". (St. Athanasius, Contra Arianos I.41,60)

"How, were the Word a mere creature, could He have the power to undo God's sentence, and to remit sin?" (St. Athanasius, Orations ii. s. 67)

Along with the careful examination of the "two reasons" of the Incarnation in St. Athanasius' thesis, then I don't see anything wrong in the juridicial approach unless it has the Anselmian emphasis on:

1.  crucifixion alone doing the job right
2.  Infinite Sin
3.  Robbing the Glory of God when man sins

So, yes, He did pay a debt to the Father, by paying the debt to the Law.  I see nothing heterodox in Lubeltri's statements.

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 14, 2007, 07:06:15 AM
Mina,
You're playing on the word "satisfaction" here.
There is nothing wrong with the Russian theological concept of "satisfying" the Righteousness of God (which is what St. Athanasios is talking about), in fact, this is exactly how Christ redeemed us; that is, by fulfilling the Law: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matthew 5:17). And not only Christ, but we too are required to satisfy God's Righteousness: ".... it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." (Matthew 3:15).

 But this is vastly different to the Western concept of satisfying God's "Justice" (which is what lubeltri is talking about), where God must extract a payment before He will forgive sin.

Satisfying God's Righteousnes is something we must all strive for, but was fulfilled par excellence by the Theanthropic Christ.

Satisfying God's Justice, however by saying things such as:
To satisfy the divine justice or the divine consistency. It is just that we all die for rejecting God through sin.
makes Death not the natural consequence of sin, but a temporal evil imposed on us by God in retribution for sin. In other words, it makes God the Author of evil. The wages of sin are death, but who is it that "pays" these wages? Is it the God Who swore by His Own Life that He does not desire the death of the sinner but that he should turn and live (Ezekiel 33:11)? I don't think so.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 14, 2007, 09:52:38 AM
Mina,
You're playing on the word "satisfaction" here.
There is nothing wrong with the Russian theological concept of "satisfying" the Righteousness of God (which is what St. Athanasios is talking about), in fact, this is exactly how Christ redeemed us; that is, by fulfilling the Law: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matthew 5:17). And not only Christ, but we too are required to satisfy God's Righteousness: ".... it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." (Matthew 3:15).

 But this is vastly different to the Western concept of satisfying God's "Justice" (which is what lubeltri is talking about), where God must extract a payment before He will forgive sin.

Satisfying God's Righteousnes is something we must all strive for, but was fulfilled par excellence by the Theanthropic Christ.

Satisfying God's Justice, however by saying things such as: makes Death not the natural consequence of sin, but a temporal evil imposed on us by God in retribution for sin. In other words, it makes God the Author of evil. The wages of sin are death, but who is it that "pays" these wages? Is it the God Who swore by His Own Life that He does not desire the death of the sinner but that he should turn and live (Ezekiel 33:11)? I don't think so.

I really think though that when RC's explain it, and I read the catechism, that there is nothing that indicates in their theology, imho, that makes death an imposed evil by God as you are saying it.

On another subject, we can say God is indirectly the "cause of evil," i.e. He created the consequences.  Subtly, St. Athanasius shows how death is natural to all living things, but to us who are created in the Image of God is made beyond natural, until we sinned.  Therefore, really, God did create death for the animals, and we decided to join them and the natural laws of death when we disobeyed God's commandment.

Perhaps, if we listen to what RC's have to say, they may provide valuable insight rather than putting words in their mouths, so to speak.

But I'm glad that you don't seem to disagree with anything I have written in my last post, I think?  If that's the case, I wonder what welkodox and others think too, since my purpose was not to show how both reject each other, but complement one another (i.e. jurisdictional and ontological languages).

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 14, 2007, 10:53:06 AM
Let us conclued than with certainty that if one believes in a satisfaction of the fathers wrath he falls victim to the western approach to original sin. When viewed from the Orthodox perspective death is a reconciliation to the father and a bounding of the devil. Do we have silence in the house?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 14, 2007, 12:58:53 PM
But this is vastly different to the Western concept of satisfying God's "Justice" (which is what lubeltri is talking about), where God must extract a payment before He will forgive sin.

Satisfying God's Righteousnes is something we must all strive for, but was fulfilled par excellence by the Theanthropic Christ.

Satisfying God's Justice, however by saying things such as: makes Death not the natural consequence of sin, but a temporal evil imposed on us by God in retribution for sin. In other words, it makes God the Author of evil. The wages of sin are death, but who is it that "pays" these wages? Is it the God Who swore by His Own Life that He does not desire the death of the sinner but that he should turn and live (Ezekiel 33:11)? I don't think so.

You may keep your assumptions to yourself, Ozgeorge. I meant no such thing as the caricature you describe.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 14, 2007, 01:01:23 PM
Quote
the western approach to original sin

Oh my, more red herrings.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10546.0.html

http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/12/ancestral-vs-original-sin-false.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2007/01/original-sin-west-haters-strike-back.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/03/original-sin-in-eastern-orthodox.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/12/ancestral-sin-quotations-from-orthodox.html

We can run from our past, but we can't hide.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 14, 2007, 01:05:27 PM
I really think though that when RC's explain it, and I read the catechism, that there is nothing that indicates in their theology, imho, that makes death an imposed evil by God as you are saying it.

On another subject, we can say God is indirectly the "cause of evil," i.e. He created the consequences.  Subtly, St. Athanasius shows how death is natural to all living things, but to us who are created in the Image of God is made beyond natural, until we sinned.  Therefore, really, God did create death for the animals, and we decided to join them and the natural laws of death when we disobeyed God's commandment.

Perhaps, if we listen to what RC's have to say, they may provide valuable insight rather than putting words in their mouths, so to speak.

But I'm glad that you don't seem to disagree with anything I have written in my last post, I think?  If that's the case, I wonder what welkodox and others think too, since my purpose was not to show how both reject each other, but complement one another (i.e. jurisdictional and ontological languages).

God bless.

Absolutely right. They complement each other. The denial of any juridical aspect is just plain heterodoxy to me---it ignores so much Scripture and so many Church Fathers. What is the use of the Old Testament without this understanding? Some people like to create caricatures like "God demanding payment before he will forgive," "satisfying God's bloody wrath," etc. with which to beat Westerners over the head. Now I certainly acknowledge that some of this exists among some Reformed circles (and even then they are far more subtle than the caricatures), but to smear Catholicism or all the West with this is silly.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 14, 2007, 01:50:15 PM
Oh my, more red herrings.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10546.0.html

http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/12/ancestral-vs-original-sin-false.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2007/01/original-sin-west-haters-strike-back.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/03/original-sin-in-eastern-orthodox.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/12/ancestral-sin-quotations-from-orthodox.html

We can run from our past, but we can't hide.


EXACTLY!  I don't think anyone can really deny how much influence Augustine, Aquinas, Anselm, and many others have had on Western theological development, but let's not make the mistake of calling the West monolithic in this regard.  It is true that some approaches to theological reasoning appear very strong in the West but rather weak in the East, such that we can call these methods distinctively Western ways of thought.  However, this does not mean such as the following:
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 14, 2007, 02:14:25 PM
People can redefine the "juridical view" all they want, but it is the juridical view of Anselm in particular that is heretical.  It leads to immaculate conception, infant damnation before baptism, etc.
Okay, of all the strawmen, or red herrings, or just plain silly statements I've seen on this thread, this is by far the silliest!  Just how does Anselm's juridical view of atonement lead to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception?  ???
Silliest?  Take it from Anselm.   ;)

CHAPTER SIXTEEN
How God assumed from the sinful mass a sinless
human nature. The salvation of Adam and of Eve.

...

By the way, this was taken straight from Cur Deus Homo.
Having read the excerpt of Anselm that you provided, I have to say that this appears to me to be primarily a discourse on Mary's purity within the framework of that doctrine of Original Sin posited by St. Augustine, with very little said about any particular view of atonement.  But then that's how I read the text.  My question to you, then, is this: Do you object to Anselm's actual doctrine of atonement, or do you object to what you mistakenly interpret to be Anselm's doctrine of atonement because of the preconceived notions you read into his texts?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 14, 2007, 02:37:19 PM
Oh my, more red herrings.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10546.0.html

http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/12/ancestral-vs-original-sin-false.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2007/01/original-sin-west-haters-strike-back.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/03/original-sin-in-eastern-orthodox.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/12/ancestral-sin-quotations-from-orthodox.html

We can run from our past, but we can't hide.



Eprhem Hugh Bensusan is the author of the articles in the razilazenje blogspot. He is not an Orthodox theologian by any means. He graduated from Whitefield seminary (reformed Protestant).
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 14, 2007, 03:01:06 PM
It's not about him whoever that person is, it's about what he is presenting from the past of the church.

Attacking people's credibility instead of engaging their arguments also does not strengthen an argument.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 14, 2007, 07:12:36 PM
You may keep your assumptions to yourself, Ozgeorge. I meant no such thing as the caricature you describe.
If one wishes to take the judicial view of Redemtion, one has no choice but to aknowledge that the reductio ad absurdum is that God cannot forgive sin unless a penalty for it is paid, and one lays oneself open to the accusations of Atheists that the God one worships doesn't think repentance is sincere enough unless someone has pain and death inflicted on them.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 14, 2007, 07:19:45 PM
If one wishes to take the judicial view of Redemtion, one has no choice but to aknowledge that the reductio ad absurdum is that God cannot forgive sin unless a penalty for it is paid, and one lays oneself open to the accusations of Atheists that the God one worships doesn't think repentance is sincere enough unless someone has pain and death inflicted on them.

According to St. Athanasius, repentance wasn't enough.  Not only does it not heal the corruption, but also it makes God's word untrue to simply forgive after saying one will "surely die."

Again, it's not about sincerity, it's about consistency.  The polemical attack that God is a sadistic Being who thrives in the blood of sinners is indeed an atheist false attack, no different than an atheist attacking our conception of even the existence of such a god, or even the Trinity of God, which many atheists and Muslims thrive to show how that's irrationally "not one".

Again, we should not put words in RC mouths.  Let's seek to understand them.  Perhaps, all they were affirming all this time was Athanasian theology.

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 14, 2007, 07:47:23 PM
According to St. Athanasius, repentance wasn't enough.  Not only does it not heal the corruption, but also it makes God's word untrue to simply forgive after saying one will "surely die."

But you are assuming that St. Athanasios is taking the judicial view here, and you are reading things into him that he does not say. Where does St. Athanasios say that God cannot forgive sin without the Crucifixion? Forgiving sin is one thing, and redeeming us from death is quite another.

I've said it three times on this thread, and I'll say it again: Death is the natural consequence of sin, not the "penalty" inflicted by God for sin. We will "surely die" for sin just as we will "surely die" if we ingest cyanide, but death is not the "penalty" for ingesting cyanide, it's merely the natural consequence of it. By ingesting cyanide, we corrupt our homeostasis, and this leads to death. Sin also corrupts us and leads to death.

The greatest testimony to the fact that God did not redeem mankind by judicial means is the Harrowing of Hades. It was a rescue mission to save mankind from the natural consequences of sin, just like a paramedic saves a drug addict from the natural consequences of taking an overdose.

Again, we should not put words in RC mouths.  Let's seek to understand them.  Perhaps, all they were affirming all this time was Athanasian theology.
I am listening, and what I am hearing is that unless I take the judicial view of redemption, I am a heretic, and I refuse to accept that.
The denial of any juridical aspect is just plain heterodoxy to me
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 14, 2007, 08:31:22 PM
But you are assuming that St. Athanasios is taking the judicial view here, and you are reading things into him that he does not say. Where does St. Athanasios say that God cannot forgive sin without the Crucifixion? Forgiving sin is one thing, and redeeming us from death is quite another.

Well, St. Athanasius says that God cannot merely forgive sin or fix corruption, even though He has that power, it would be "inconsistent" for God to forgive sin without the Incarnation, Human Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.  So, in the end, St. Athanasius does indeed say that God cannot "forgive sin" without the Incarnation, in addition to redemption of death.

Implicitly, St. Athanasius does indeed take a judicial view.  To deny the judicial view is one thing, but to pretend that this is solely a "Western thing" is another.  Like someone said earlier, I don't think someone asks forgiveness by the blood of Christ as a result of "taking cyanide."  It more like an alcoholic.  He has to admit he has a problem, then proceed with the treatment.  The feeling of accepting of an alcoholic in AA meetings makes a difference, almost like the feeling of "forgiveness."

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 14, 2007, 08:45:50 PM
It's not about him whoever that person is, it's about what he is presenting from the past of the church.

Attacking people's credibility instead of engaging their arguments also does not strengthen an argument.

He takes quotes from the Fathers out of context and uses a proof-texting form of argument Protestants are well know for. Its been agreed to that the Fathers are not perfect in what they have written. Someone else could sit down and pull 15 or 20 quotes from the Fathers that would refute Ephrem's claims. If the divine satisfaction theory was of any significance or importance to Eastern Orthodoxy we would have had multiple hymns, prayers, and liturgical commentaries filling our services describing it through the centuries so that the whole church would understand it as a dimension of what we believe. We do not have any. Ephrem is constructing his own fadish version of Orthodoxy for his own personal agenda. Perhaps he hopes to see all Christians unite because of his hatred of the Muslim encroachment. His blog is quite political. I do not trust him.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 14, 2007, 08:52:17 PM
He takes quotes from the Fathers out of context and uses a proof-texting form of argument Protestants are well know for. Its been agreed to that the Fathers are not perfect in what they have written. Someone else could sit down and pull 15 or 20 quotes from the Fathers that would refute Ephrem's claims. If the divine satisfaction theory was of any significance or importance to Eastern Orthodoxy we would have had multiple hymns, prayers, and liturgical commentaries filling our services describing it through the centuries so that the whole church would understand it as a dimension of what we believe. We do not have any. Ephrem is constructing his own fadish version of Orthodoxy for his own personal agenda. Perhaps he hopes to see all Christians unite because of his hatred of the Muslim encroachment. His blog is quite political. I do not trust him.

Slowly, I feel like the tides are turning from "it ain't in the Eastern fathers" to "even if it is, they're not perfect, we still have our infallible liturgies."

So, in this whole discussion, there really is no point if we use quotes from people like St. Athanasius.  For all any EO cares, St. Athanasius can be a scholastic heretic if he doesn't follow the Byzantine liturgical texts and hymns.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 14, 2007, 09:02:35 PM
Well, St. Athanasius says that God cannot merely forgive sin or fix corruption, even though He has that power, it would be "inconsistent" for God to forgive sin without the Incarnation, Human Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.  So, in the end, St. Athanasius does indeed say that God cannot "forgive sin" without the Incarnation, in addition to redemption of death.

No he doesn't Mina.

Listen to what St. Athanasios actually says:
Quote
"The law of death, which followed from the Transgression, prevailed upon us, and from it there was no escape. The thing that was happening was in truth both monstrous and unfitting. It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die ; but it was equally monstrous that beings which once had shared the nature of the Word should perish and turn back again into non-existence through corruption."
St. Athanasios says that Death is not "Just" as lubeltri claims, St. Athanasios says it is monstrous.

and St. Athanasios also says:
Quote
"Was He to demand repentance from men for their transgression ? You might say that that was worthy of God, and argue further that, as through the Transgression they became subject to corruption, so through repentance they might return to incorruption again. But repentance would not guard the Divine consistency, for, if death did not hold dominion over men, God would still remain untrue. Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature ; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning., Had it been a case of a trespass only, and not of a subsequent corruption, repentance would have been well enough; but when once transgression had Begun men came under the power of the corruption proper to their nature and were bereft of the grace which belonged to them as creatures in the Image of God. No, repentance could not meet the case. What-or rather Who was it that was needed for such grace and such recall as we required? "
St. Athanasios is not talking about forgiveness, but healing the consequences of sin. One can repent of murdering someone, and God will forgive them, but the consequences of the sin (the corruption it causes) remain- the victim remains dead.

You are equating Forgiveness with Redemption- which is the very error which the judicial view makes, but St. Athanasios clearly distinguishes between sin and it's consequences, and between forgiveness and Redemption. Sin can be forgiven, and indeed was forgiven even before the Incarnation. But the echoes sin causes through the Universe, that is, it's consequences, could only be healed through the Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection of the God-Man.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 14, 2007, 09:17:38 PM
Well, St. Athanasius says that God cannot merely forgive sin or fix corruption, even though He has that power, it would be "inconsistent" for God to forgive sin without the Incarnation, Human Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.  So, in the end, St. Athanasius does indeed say that God cannot "forgive sin" without the Incarnation, in addition to redemption of death.


God bless.

St. Athanasius is right and my I add, a pillar of Orthodoxy.
  
    This in Orthodoxy is called free willGod doesn't force anything on us. We must willfully accept his mercy and through his church we can be presented to the father clean from sin. When we unite together with Christ at the Eucharist we as the body and Christ as the head are offered up to the father in union with Christ. That is why it's call communion. We are spotless in the fathers eyes.

    Hence the formulation of the prayer: "Thou art the offerer and the offering, the One Who accepts and the One Who is propagated"
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 14, 2007, 10:03:23 PM
St. Athanasius is right and my I add, a pillar of Orthodoxy.
St. Athanasios is right...Minasoliman's interpretation of him is not.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 14, 2007, 10:21:05 PM
Having read the excerpt of Anselm that you provided, I have to say that this appears to me to be primarily a discourse on Mary's purity within the framework of that doctrine of Original Sin posited by St. Augustine, with very little said about any particular view of atonement.

I am pleased that you have spared some time to read it.  Anyway, the "discourse" presents an assumption which attempts to defend a glaring weakness in Anselm's view of atonement.  Without this assumption, Anselm's theory fails for Jesus would have been conceived guilty of "original sin"; in effect, he would have been incapable of redeeming us in the context of the juridical view. 

Quote
My question to you, then, is this: Do you object to Anselm's actual doctrine of atonement,

I have read Anselm's work in its entirety and I reject his assumptions and conclusions without reservation.

Quote
or do you object to what you mistakenly interpret to be Anselm's doctrine of atonement because of the preconceived notions you read into his texts?

Anselm states his ideas in a very straightforward manner.  One does not need to have preconceived notions in order to understand him.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 14, 2007, 11:38:22 PM
Dear George,

I have read St. Athanasius over and over again.  You seem to ignore a vital part of what St. Athanasius is trying to convey.  Let me break down the quotes you've given me:

Quote
The law of death, which followed from the Transgression, prevailed upon us, and from it there was no escape. The thing that was happening was in truth both monstrous and unfitting.

There's no question about that.  Man's fall is a monstrous thing.  God cannot just let that happen....BUT...

Quote
It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die

It's equally monstrous and "unthinkable" (did you think about it...shame on you  :P) that God should just simply get rid of the death and corruption that ailed man.  God said man will surely die, and He CANNOT go back on His word.  Notice also, it's interesting because while we concentrate so much on the fact that it's our own fault, we forget that it's also God's commandment that this should happen if this happened.  If it's merely just a "my own fault, God didn't create death" type of arguement, it wouldn't have been necessary for St. Athanasius to be so insistent on Goid not going back "on His word."

And he repeats that it's just as monstrous as losing His consistency that He would just let man die in corruption.

The other quote also proves my point.  You're ignoring his "consistency" reasoning:

Quote
Was He to demand repentance from men for their transgression ? You might say that that was worthy of God, and argue further that, as through the Transgression they became subject to corruption, so through repentance they might return to incorruption again.

He starts by saying that man might simply think it's "worthy of God" and "argue further that" (which means there were those who thought that repentance kept worthiness to God AND got rid of corruption at the same time) it can also get rid of corruption, as if the consequences of repentance is eternal life and consequences of sin is death.  But man's logic, although sounds true, has its flaws.

I repeat, St. Athanasius is about to refute what people believed repentance did:
1.  Made God look worthy
2.  Got rid of corruption

His answer:

Quote
But repentance would not guard the Divine consistency, for, if death did not hold dominion over men, God would still remain untrue.

He refutes the "worthy" part by showing that Repentance would make God look untrue.  HIS WORD MUST BE HELD or God will be inconsistent, which is not something God is.

Then, he also talks about the ontological part:

Quote
Nor

That word means that there was a reason before.  Just in case you missed it, go back and read it again.

Quote
Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature ; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning.

Self-explanatory.  This is the ontological side of things.  Previously, he was arguing, believe it or not, the jurisdictional side of things.  Here, he's arguing the ontology.  Moving right along...

Quote
Had it been a case of a trespass only, and not of a subsequent corruption, repentance would have been well enough;

Assuming of course that God did not say "You will surely die."  His word is just as important as the actions that occured.

Quote
but when once transgression had Begun men came under the power of the corruption proper to their nature and were bereft of the grace which belonged to them as creatures in the Image of God.

pure ontology, complementing only his jurisdictional part of "Divine Consistency"

Quote
No, repentance could not meet the case. What-or rather Who was it that was needed for such grace and such recall as we required? "

The answer:  Have God the Word Himself who created man become incarnate to take death and corruption upon Himself and then destroy it, fixing the situation, solving both the Divine Consistency and the Divine Mercy, solving that "Divine Dilemma" of "mercy and justice."

Quote
One can repent of murdering someone, and God will forgive them

Unless God said that if you murder, you will surely die.  If the person repents, shouldn't forgiveness entail the removing of death? 

"George, if you murder Jack, you will surely die."
(George kills Jack) "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
"I'd forgive you, but I can't go back on my word"
"Noooooooooooooo, but you're merciful."
"Yes, but I also have to stay true to my word.  Don't worry, don't lose hope...there is a way to solve all of this."

See, you're concentrating so much on the ontological aspect, on the disease, and you're forgetting the aspect St. Athanasius places equal importance on ("equally monstrous" he says, which basically means, God's word must stay true), the aspect that God cannot change His word.

Yes, forgiveness did happen, but it obviously wasn't enough.  The sacrifices and the Law were all temporary solutions, and at the same time lacking a substance that "needed fulfillment" (while miraculously filled with "allegorical prophecies").  So, the lambs getting killed forgave the sins of man, but the lambs did not rise from the Dead.  A totally "fair" forgiveness had to be followed by a healing of what the sin has caused.  The Lamb of God, the Word Incarnate Himself provided a means to be both the forgiveness of sins and the root of eternal life, ensuring to keep the Divine Consistency and Divine Mercy.

[sweating and wiping off forehead]God bless.[/sweating and wiping off forehead]
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 14, 2007, 11:39:13 PM
St. Athanasius is right and my I add, a pillar of Orthodoxy.

I agree.  He will always be a vital pillar of Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on April 14, 2007, 11:51:18 PM
Double post.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on April 14, 2007, 11:54:58 PM
Mina,

Honestly you're wasting your time running around in circles with these people. They're too captivated and entrenched in their position to admit its dishonesty.

You will keep requoting St. Athanasius, they will keep ignoring the relevant statements and clauses and in turn highlight the parts of the passage that emphasise the model of redemption they're obsessed with. You will then remind them that you already accept those aspects of St. Athanasius' soteriology, and emphasise that your point is not that such aspects are absent from St. Athanasius' soteriology, but rather that other aspects are to be found also. Because they presume such concepts to be mutually exclusive, they will twist and turn the true intention of St. Athanasius until they have imputed their false logic into a work produced in an era where such a false dichotomy between justice and love did not exist. They will then attack justice as being unfitting to attribute to God by virtue of the idea that it reflects our human notion of justice; they will appeal to their oversimplified and immature understanding of apophatic theology as validation of such an argument, and they will then proceed to unwittingly contradict themselves by appealing to a notion of love which is no less reflective of the human experience (i.e. a love that is blind to justice) and in turn impute that notion onto God nevertheless. Circle repeats ad infinitum.

St. Athanasius' words speak for themselves; they don't need to be tirelessly repeated and defended. You should have quit 5 pages ago. I did.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 15, 2007, 12:05:45 AM
I agree.  He will always be a vital pillar of Orthodoxy.
Minasoliman: Do you still believe all will resurrect?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 15, 2007, 12:33:14 AM
Quote
The law of death, which followed from the Transgression, prevailed upon us, and from it there was no escape. The thing that was happening was in truth both monstrous and unfitting.I
t's equally monstrous and "unthinkable" (did you think about it...shame on you  Tongue) that God should just simply get rid of the death and corruption that ailed man.  God said man will surely die, and He CANNOT go back on His word.  Notice also, it's interesting because while we concentrate so much on the fact that it's our own fault, we forget that it's also God's commandment that this should happen if this happened.  If it's merely just a "my own fault, God didn't create death" type of arguement, it wouldn't have been necessary for St. Athanasius to be so insistent on Goid not going back "on His word."

No Mina! Stop and think! You are saying that what St. Athanasios calls "the law of death" was created by God, and that He cannot break His own law. But "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good", and "the dead do not praise the Lord, neither they that go down into the silence", and "The Lord is the God of the living and not of the dead." Just as sin is evil and can have no part with God, Death is also evil and can have no part with God. Death is the absence of Life, and the only Source of Life is God.
When God says in Genesis that on the day Adam disobeys His commandment "you will surely die", He is stating a fact; namely that sin by definition cuts us off from the Source of Life. This is the "law of death" St. Athanasios is talking about. What is impure and evil cannot have anything to do with what is Pure and Good, and evil cannot have any part of God. The concept is ontological not judicial. Don't be confused by the term "law". When we talk about the Laws of Thermodynamics, we are not talking about judicial laws. And note that St. Athanasios calls it "the law of death", not the "law of God".

It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die.
Quote
Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature ; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning.
Self-explanatory.  This is the ontological side of things.
No, Mina. It is exactly the same as what St. Athanasios said before, just a different way of saying it. In both cases, St. Athanasios is saying the same thing and is speaking ontologically.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 15, 2007, 12:46:34 AM
You will keep requoting St. Athanasius, they will keep ignoring the relevant statements and clauses and in turn highlight the parts of the passage that emphasise the model of redemption they're obsessed with.....Circle repeats ad infinitum....You should have quit 5 pages ago. I did.
Rubbish.
The very quotes you guys want to use to make St. Athanasios sound judicial are the very ones that are being addressed. You quit because your argument doesn't stand up to scrutiny, not because we're going in circles.
There is no point in quoting "statements and clauses" from the Fathers if one doesn't understand them. Perhaps together we can find what the Fathers are actually saying, rather than trying to find "statements and clauses" that back up our positions.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Fr. David on April 15, 2007, 01:26:51 AM
If I could...

I don't remember if I've even commented in this thread--I can't do a search, and time prevents me from going back through all of this--but I'm thinking about the two articles I wrote (here (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=28) and here (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=28)) in the context of the immediate discussion...

OVERALL STATEMENT: Would it not be fair to say that the juridical aspect of God's justice is, really, a ruling on our ontological deficiency?

I mean...God demands a perfect humanity for union with Himself and will take no less, for to do so would 1) go against the reality of holiness' incompatibility with iniquity and 2) damn us all as a natural consequence...and His love for us could not bear the latter, nor would His holiness allow for the former to pass unchallenged and unconquered.

So...Christ comes, satisfies the economy of the Father, Who judges all this to be good...for that is what it truly is, not merely what it is declared to be.

Forgive me if I seem self-promoting; I simply see the two sides as complementing each other...
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 15, 2007, 01:43:28 AM
George,

Just trying to wade through what I read you and Mina both arguing here, so no attempt from me to debate either of you...  Just thinking...  :-\

Even though Mina speaks of consistency as a juridical concept, I'm not sure she even knows what that means.  How does one define juridical?  Could you both be arguing from different understandings of the term juridical, so that you end up speaking past each other?  I think of the Divine consistency Mina keeps preaching as more of an ontological concept myself, a concept speaking of the very nature of God.

Divine consistency appears to walk hand-in-hand with the concept of Divine immutability.  By His very immutable nature, God cannot change.  God told man, "If you eat of the forbidden fruit, you will surely die."  He could not rescind this law by fiat and be consistent with Himself--His very unchanging nature required that He allow man to taste the ontological consequence of his sin.  Just like if I, being so dense as to not be aware of the law of gravity, was to walk off a cliff; nature would not show its necessary consistency if it were to allow me to avoid the consequences of my stupidity by allowing me to walk on air (just like in the cartoons).


Another thought:

Believing that God created us to live only in Him and that separation from Him due to sin leads only to death, thus making the "law of death" intrinsic to our nature as bearers of God's image, is it not possible to say that God created this "law of death"?  Is it inherently wrong to speak of this ontological "law of death" as a Divine law that must be satisfied?  Is the term satisfied even a good word for this context because of the juridical connotations we attach to it?  Is it possible to see satisfaction as something other than a juridical idea?  Much of the problem I see here is that we're arguing over what various words communicate, often following too closely the definitions we attach to certain words until we reach the point of absurdity.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 15, 2007, 01:59:59 AM
Another way of understanding the word satisfaction (please forgive me for the condescendingly absurd simplicity of this statement):
I'm hungry, so I satisfy my hunger by eating.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 15, 2007, 02:07:55 AM
Quote
It's equally monstrous and "unthinkable" (did you think about it...shame on you) that God should just simply get rid of the death and corruption that ailed man.

Unthinkable?  Death is an aberration in God's creation!  Only the devil would ever say that it would be monstrous to eliminate the aberration.

Quote
God said man will surely die, and He CANNOT go back on His word.

Wrong.  God did not say that man will remain dead forever.  Restoring the world to its original glory was always part of God's plan!

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 15, 2007, 02:10:05 AM
David,
I have read your articles, and I liked them, but I don't think we can draw the conclusion that the "judicial" and "ontological" views complement each other, and I'm not sure how you are trying to make this connection when you say:
I mean...God demands a perfect humanity for union with Himself and will take no less, for to do so would 1) go against the reality of holiness' incompatibility with iniquity and 2) damn us all as a natural consequence...and His love for us could not bear the latter, nor would His holiness allow for the former to pass unchallenged and unconquered.
(1) above, is ontological- evil and good, impurity and purity cannot mix, because that would mean that God is no longer Pure, and therefore, no longer God., and in (2), it is not God Who is damns us, and He acts, not with "Justice" but with Mercy to solve an ontological problem:
our impurity and consequential seperation from Him Who is the All Pure Source of Life vs. His desire that we be united with Him

Peter the Aleut,
I think it is wrong to think of God as the Creator of death. The Source of Life cannot create Death. Just as darkness is the result of being cut off from a source of light, Death is the result of being cut off from the Source of Life. Thus, "the law of death" is not a "Divine Law", it's the natural consequence of being cut off from the Divine. Deification is not "one option among many", it is the only option if we are to attain Eternal Life, and it is intrinsic to our true Human Nature. We made it impossible to attain by leaving the Source of Life, and Christ made it possible again by Sanctifying Human Nature at the Incarnation, and delivering the souls of those in Hades by His own Death. God took back from Death what was His. To say that He put them there in the first place makes God the sadistic being that modern Atheists accuse us of making Him into.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 15, 2007, 02:16:51 AM
Wrong.  God did not say that man will remain dead forever.  Restoring the world to its original glory was always part of God's plan!
However, would you not agree that there's a BIG difference between dying once and remaining dead forever?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 15, 2007, 02:29:54 AM
Peter the Aleut,
I think it is wrong to think of God as the Creator of death. The Source of Life cannot create Death. Just as darkness is the result of being cut off from a source of light, Death is the result of being cut off from the Source of Life. Thus, "the law of death" is not a "Divine Law", it's the natural consequence of being cut off from the Divine. Deification is not "one option among many", it is the only option if we are to attain Eternal Life, and it is intrinsic to our true Human Nature. We made it impossible to attain by leaving the Source of Life, and Christ made it possible again by Sanctifying Human Nature at the Incarnation, and delivering the souls of those in Hades by His own Death. God took back from Death what was His. To say that He put them there in the first place makes God the sadistic being that modern Atheists accuse us of making Him into.
I agree with everything you say in your statements above.  However, the law of death is not the same as death itself.  God, the very life of all, cannot create death; to say otherwise implies that death is a thing in and of itself that can even be created.  Death is NOT a self-existent thing that stands opposed to life; death is merely the absence of life.  The law of death, though, is a law of nature.  God created nature, so one can say that God created the law of death as a law to govern His creation, much as one can say the same about the law of entropy (the second law of thermodynamics).  (Of course, I suppose one can also say, as you do, that the law of death is just part of how God created us and is therefore not some thing per se that God created.  Maybe the law of death is merely a semantic concept constructed by man to describe our ontological dependence on God.)  IMO, to say that God created the law of death is NOT the same thing as saying that God created death itself.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 15, 2007, 02:50:20 AM
But if you say that God created "the law of death" you are saying that God could have chosen not to let sin lead to death. Our redemption, therefore, is a farce which never needed to happen in the first place. God places us in Hades then gets us out again....some Redeemer that would be! It would be like a firefighter who starts forest fires then plays the hero.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 15, 2007, 03:17:59 AM
But if you say that God created "the law of death" you are saying that God could have chosen not to let sin lead to death.
I am in fact saying this!  :o  All jest aside, for God to have chosen "not to let sin lead to death" would have been inconsistent with His incorruptible nature.  God cannot by His very nature allow Himself to be corrupted by uniting Himself to the corruption caused by sin.  Sin, therefore, MUST separate man from God.

(In this way, maybe one can say that God did not create the "law of death" as an act of His will, but that the "law of death" emanates naturally from the incorruptibility of His very Divine nature.)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 15, 2007, 03:44:32 AM
I am in fact saying this!  :o  All jest aside, for God to have chosen "not to let sin lead to death" would have been inconsistent with His incorruptible nature.  God cannot by His very nature allow Himself to be corrupted by uniting Himself to the corruption caused by sin.  Sin, therefore, MUST separate man from God.
That's correct. Which is what I've been saying all along. God could not have included anything in the Laws of Nature which would prevent sin leading to death, so, contrary to the Laws of Nature, a Virgin gave birth to a Human Being Who is God....We were redeemed because God suspended and contradicted the Laws of Nature. And when, as True Man, God died on the Cross, He himself entered the realm of Death, and even the Dead were no longer seperated from Him, and He raised them up and granted them Life again.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 15, 2007, 09:17:39 AM
I am in fact saying this!  :o  All jest aside, for God to have chosen "not to let sin lead to death" would have been inconsistent with His incorruptible nature.  God cannot by His very nature allow Himself to be corrupted by uniting Himself to the corruption caused by sin.  Sin, therefore, MUST separate man from God.

(In this way, maybe one can say that God did not create the "law of death" as an act of His will, but that the "law of death" emanates naturally from the incorruptibility of His very Divine nature.)

Not exactly. We were created to be able to die. We were never eternal from the start. The only thing that keeps us alive is the very communion with being, witch is god. By separating ourselves from the life giving fountain. We lost the holy spirit witch kept us eternal. The incarnation of Christ was exactly this. The repair of the fallen state we fell into. The giving back of the holy spirit to man witch kept him eternal in Paradise. Notice how Christ was raised.
Romans 8:11
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on April 15, 2007, 10:59:52 AM
Quote
The very quotes you guys want to use to make St. Athanasios sound judicial are the very ones that are being addressed.


If St. Athanasius explicates that our redemption was achieved by (inter alia) the lifting of "God's sentence", and yet you persist in essentially denying that God could be responsible in any way for any sentence, then I am inclined to believe that you are not really addressing St. Athanasius on his own terms.

Quote
Perhaps together we can find what the Fathers are actually saying, rather than trying to find "statements and clauses" that back up our positions.

The relevant statements and clauses are an essential part of the overall context and significantly qualify St. Athanasius' overall soteriological outlook; they cannot be ignored, overlooked, or downplayed.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 15, 2007, 11:16:59 AM
If St. Athanasius explicates that our redemption was achieved by (inter alia) the lifting of "God's sentence", and yet you persist in essentially denying that God could be responsible in any way for any sentence, then I am inclined to believe that you are not really addressing St. Athanasius on his own terms.

EA,
Again, you misquote St. Athanasios and take his words out of context.
In answer to the Arians, Saint Athanasios is talking about the remission of sin and the fact that Christ had the authority to forgive sins on Earth, which proves that He was not a creature, but God Himself. Here is what St. Athanasios actually says:
Quote
And how, were the Word a creature, had He power to undo God's sentence, and to remit sin, whereas it is written in the Prophets, that this is God's doing? For 'who is a God like unto You, that pardons iniquity, and passes by transgression Micah 7:18 ?' For whereas God has said, 'Dust you are, and unto dust shall you return Genesis 3:19 ,' men have become mortal; how then could things originate undo sin?

Therefore, since the Saint is saying that Christ had the authority to "undo God's sentence" by forgiving sins on Earth, the attempt to use this as "proof" that the Saint is saying that our redemption through the Cross and Resurrection was judicial in nature is ludicrous. In answer to the Arians, St. Athanasios is showing that Christ is God by referring to the fact that in the Gospel, Christ had the authority to "undo God's sentence"  by forgiving sins....and He was doing this in the Gospel before His Death and Resurrection. If we take the judicial view of Redemption, wouldn't it be impossible for Christ to remit sins before the "debt" was paid by Him?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on April 15, 2007, 12:31:20 PM
Please delete.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on April 15, 2007, 12:33:03 PM
Please delete.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on April 15, 2007, 12:36:41 PM
Please delete.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on April 15, 2007, 12:38:06 PM
Quote
Again, you misquote St. Athanasios and take his words out of context.
In answer to the Arians, Saint Athanasios is talking about the remission of sin and the fact that Christ had the authority to forgive sins on Earth, which proves that He was not a creature, but God Himself.

First of all, I haven't misquoted St. Athanasius; the exact phrase "God's sentence"--the only phrase of him quoted in my last post--is genuinely his.

Second of all, I haven't taken St. Athanasius out of context for nowhere have I implied or suggested that St. Athanasius is NOT "talking about the remission of sin and the fact that Christ had the authority to forgive sins on Earth, which proves that He was not a creature, but God Himself."

Ultimately, you have made these false presumptions because you are missing the entire point which relates to the telling indication of the general relationship between sin, death, and God's sentence, found in the quote in question, rather than the specific circumstances to which it pertains.

St. Athanasius indicates that in order for sin to be remitted, Christ had to "undo God's sentence". If remitting sin necessitates the undoing of "God's sentence", then this very sentence for which God is in some way responsible, is in some way related to the very condition which accounts for sin. According to St. Paul, this condition is none other than the condition of death itself (1 Cor. 15:56), ergo, the condition of death relates in some way to a sentence for which God is responsible.

As to understanding the nature of the Lord Christ's pre-death forgiveness of sins given that His death was consistently taught to be for the very remission of sins, that is an issue that is no way related to the question at hand, and one that bears no unique implications for the so-called juridical model of redemption.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 15, 2007, 04:23:45 PM
There was never a punishment from god. Death isn't a punishment from him. Someone that is eternal can never die to begin with. That's what eternal means. If we were eternal from the begining we couldn't die then or now. Punished or not. We seperated from god just as the devil seperated from him. It was out of pride. Now because we were kept immortal by the HS once we lost the HS we die. We fall into our natural condition witch is animal like and because we are created we are finite. Meaning what ever has it's foundation in created can die. If there is a begining there is an end.

St Athansius

Grudging existence to none therefore, He made all things out of nothing through His own Word, our Lord Jesus Christ; and of all these His earthly creatures He reserved especial mercy for the race of men. Upon them, therefore upon men who as animals, were essentially impermanent, He bestowed a grace which other creatures lacked- namely the impress of His own Image, a share in the reasonable being of the very Word Himself, so that, reflecting Him and and themselves becoming reasonable and expressing the Mind of God even as He does, though in a limited degree, they might continue for ever in the blessed and only true life of the saints in paradise. (3) 

In chap 4 St Athansius continues:

For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again. The presence & love of the Word had called them into being; inevitably therefore when they lost the knowledge of God, they lost existence with it; for it is God alone Who exists, evil is non-being, the negation and antithesis of good.

So I'll ask you how can God sentence someone to death if he is already capable of dieing?

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 15, 2007, 04:57:52 PM
Therefore, since the Saint is saying that Christ had the authority to "undo God's sentence" by forgiving sins on Earth, the attempt to use this as "proof" that the Saint is saying that our redemption through the Cross and Resurrection was judicial in nature is ludicrous. In answer to the Arians, St. Athanasios is showing that Christ is God by referring to the fact that in the Gospel, Christ had the authority to "undo God's sentence"  by forgiving sins....and He was doing this in the Gospel before His Death and Resurrection. If we take the judicial view of Redemption, wouldn't it be impossible for Christ to remit sins before the "debt" was paid by Him?
Not necessarily impossible... if one understands that Christ's passion and resurrection, while remaining events in time, also occurred in eternity, where before and after do not exist as we understand them.

I don't see that anyone here is trying to prove that Athanasius's view of salvation was juridical based on those passages of his writing that speak of a more juridical viewpoint.  What I see is people trying to show you how Athanasius didn't speak ENTIRELY of the ontological nature of redemption as you want to believe, that the Saint did write at times in words that seem to express a more juridical view of the Cross and Resurrection.  Contrary to what you would like to believe, the theology of St. Athanasius is not as simplistic as you make it, nor is the juridical view of salvation ENTIRELY ABSENT from the thought of the Eastern Fathers.  For instance, I offer the following quote from St. Cyril of Jerusalem:

2. And wonder not that the whole world was ransomed; for it was no mere man, but the only-begotten Son of God, who died on its behalf. Moreover one man's sin, even Adam's, had power to bring death to the world; but if by the trespass of the one death reigned over the world, how shall not life much rather reign by the righteousness of the One? And if because of the tree of food they were then east out of paradise, shall not believers now more easily enter into paradise because of the Tree of Jesus? If the first man formed out of the earth brought in universal death, shall not He who formed him out of the earth bring in eternal life, being Himself the Life? If Phinees, when he waxed zealous and slew the evil-doer, staved the wrath of God, shall not Jesus, who slew not another, but gave up Himself for a ransom, put away the wrath which is against mankind?
From St. Cyril's 13th Catechetical Lecture, which can be read in full here:
http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/495/Jerusalem_Catecheses_12_24_Cyril_of_Jerusalem.html (http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/495/Jerusalem_Catecheses_12_24_Cyril_of_Jerusalem.html).
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 15, 2007, 07:59:22 PM
Peter,
it isn't the use of words like "ransom" and "wrath" which are the problem, but trather, it is when they are taken literally. If I take what St. Cyril is saying literally, then I must believe that the immutable God changed from being wrathful to merciful. Even Scripture says that God was "grieved" that He had that He had created the world (Genesis 6:7) but is this really possible? Could God really have felt that He'd made a mistake in creating the Earth and changed His mind? Are we meant to take this literally?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 15, 2007, 08:37:27 PM
Peter,
it isn't the use of words like "ransom" and "wrath" which are the problem, but trather, it is when they are taken literally. If I take what St. Cyril is saying literally, then I must believe that the immutable God changed from being wrathful to merciful. Even Scripture says that God was "grieved" that He had that He had created the world (Genesis 6:7) but is this really possible? Could God really have felt that He'd made a mistake in creating the Earth and changed His mind? Are we meant to take this literally?
Yeah, I see what you mean.  When we speak theology, such as the Fathers did, we seek to express in manmade words God Who is utterly beyond human comprehension.  Even the most erudite words can therefore be little more than feeble attempts to describe the indescribable.  Words can and should be used to communicate what God has revealed to us of His nature, but they are nothing but manmade constructs.  When we follow too closely the literal meaning of our words, we risk remaking God in our image rather than allowing God to remake us in His image.  We should thus not attach ourselves too strongly to the definitions of our words--very often what we should do is merely fall down in complete silence before the Divine majesty of God and recognize that we "see now but through a glass, darkly".
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 15, 2007, 10:32:12 PM
Words can and should be used to communicate what God has revealed to us of His nature, but they are nothing but manmade constructs.  When we follow too closely the literal meaning of our words, we risk remaking God in our image rather than allowing God to remake us in His image.  We should thus not attach ourselves too strongly to the definitions of our words--very often what we should do is merely fall down in complete silence before the Divine majesty of God and recognize that we "see now but through a glass, darkly".

Very true.  And as far as the so-called "juridical" view of atonement is concerned, not one theologian in recent memory--as far as I know--has provided us with a concise and definitive exposition of the matter.  Many in the West, like Anselm, have presented their theories; unfortunately, I find them all untenable from the Eastern Orthodox perspective.  St. Paul gives us a clue as to how a juridical view could be formulated:

Hebrews 9
11  But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
17  For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.


In verse 15, the purpose of the Crucifixion appears to be twofold:

(1) To inaugurate a New Covenant with Jesus as the high priest for the salvation of all people, i.e. the Church and its Sacraments.

(2) To enter the holy place and redeem the transgressors of the Old Covenent in its own terms, i.e. the Hebrews and the Torah (verse 15).

In opinion, any juridical concept of the atonement remains invalid unless these two things are given emphasis.  And of course, the resurrection should be part and parcel of it.

But then this is me looking through a glass, darkly. :)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 15, 2007, 10:50:30 PM
Very true.  And as far as the so-called "juridical" view of atonement is concerned, not one theologian in recent memory--as far as I know--has provided us with a concise and definitive exposition of the matter.  Many in the West, like Anselm, have presented their theories; unfortunately, I find them all untenable from the Eastern Orthodox perspective.  St. Paul gives us a clue as to how a juridical view could be formulated:

Hebrews 9
11  But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
17  For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.


In verse 15, the purpose of the Crucifixion appears to be twofold:

(1) To inaugurate a New Covenant with Jesus as the high priest for the salvation of all people, i.e. the Church and its Sacraments.

(2) To enter the holy place and redeem the transgressors of the Old Covenent in its own terms, i.e. the Hebrews and the Torah (verse 15).

In opinion, any juridical concept of the atonement remains invalid unless these two things are given emphasis.  And of course, the resurrection should be part and parcel of it.

But then this is me looking through a glass, darkly. :)

One thing that comes to mind when I read this excerpt from the Epistle to the Hebrews is that its author was trying to communicate Christ's work of redemption using Old Testament concepts his intended Jewish audience would understand.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Theognosis on April 15, 2007, 10:58:29 PM
One thing that comes to mind when I read this excerpt from the Epistle to the Hebrews is that its author was trying to communicate Christ's work of redemption using Old Testament concepts his intended Jewish audience would understand.

Exactly my thoughts as well.  Could it be that the juridical view of salvation is applicable for the Jewish mindset only? 

Since the Church Fathers in the East were more concerned about the ontological and therapeutic nature of our Lord's death and resurrection, I would suppose so.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 16, 2007, 08:52:45 PM
Just wanted to throw in some St John Chrysostom to explain the reason for an Orthodox baptism.



As thus: after the enunciation of those mystical and fearful words, and the awful rules of the doctrines which have come down from heaven, this also we add at the end when we are about to baptize, bidding them say. "I believe in the resurrection of the dead", and upon this faith we are baptized. For after we have confessed this together with the rest, then at last are we let down into the fountain of those sacred streams. This therefore Paul recalling to their minds said, "if there be no resurrection, why art thou then baptized for the dead?" i.e., the dead bodies. For in fact with a view to this art thou baptized, the resurrection of thy dead body, believing that it no longer remains dead. And thou indeed in the words makest mention of a resurrection of the dead; but the priest, as in a kind of image, signifies to thee by very deed the things which thou hast believed and confessed in words. When without a sign thou believest, then he gives thee the sign also; when thou hast done thine own part, then also doth God fully assure thee. How and in what manner? By the water. For the being baptized and immersed and then emerging, is a symbol of the descent into Hades and return thence. Wherefore also Paul calls baptism a burial, saying, "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death." (Rom. vi. 4.) By this he makes that also which is to come credible, I mean, the resurrection of our bodies.

You can read the whole homily here  http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf112.iv.xli.html
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 16, 2007, 11:51:34 PM
Here is definitive proof that "western Christians" do not have a singular understanding of the atonement stuck in substitution and blood sacrifice. This was the "Unison confession of faith" (recited by the congregation) in the bulletin of my sister's Presbyterian church for their worship service this past Sunday:

"God's reconciling act in Jesus Christ is a mystery which the Scriptures describe in various ways. It is called the sacrifice a lamb, a shepherd's life given for His sheep, atonement by a priest; again it is ransom of a slave, payment of debt, vicarious satisfaction of a legal penalty, and victory over the powers of evil.
These are expressions of a truth which remains beyond the reach of all theory in the depths of God's love for man. They reveal the gravity, cost, and sure achievement of God's reconciling work. The risen Christ is the savior for all mankind. Those joined to him by faith are set right with God and commissioned to serve as his reconciling community. Christ is the head of this community, the church, which began with the apostles and continues through all generations." - from the Presbyterian Confession of 1967.

In fact, I think this statement shatters a number of stereotypes that some Orthodox have regarding protestants.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 16, 2007, 11:53:17 PM
One thing we converts have had to do is examine our former beliefs, learn about and begin to understand Orthodoxy, and many of us also considered the claims of Roman Catholicism and perhaps other liturgical traditions during our journey into Orhtodoxy. We can at least speak to some subjects based on experience and breadth of research.

I would encourage some Orthodox to not "ghetto-ize" themselves (whether cradles or hyperdox converts wishing demonize everything from their past). Talk to some Christians from other faith communities to learn what real people (not paper tigers) believe. Read a little bit (just for information sake). Maybe attend a service (for purely informational reasons - I'm not asking anyone to pray with heterodox). If only for purely evangelistic purposes at the least and because we live in a pluralistic society and the majority of your neighbors do no believe exactly as you do. In fact, more of them probably have no faith rather than being of another faith tradition. So you have way more in common with your "western" Christian neighbors than you do with non-religious, secular pagans. Maybe try to understand them, rather than stereotype them.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on April 17, 2007, 11:44:19 AM
BrotherAidan, you actually put your finger on what my real thoughts are on all of this.  It seems to me the real problems here are:

- Orthodox polemicists will make statements that the past teaching of the church doesn't contain certain things.  On closer inspection it can be seen that these things were indeed present.  That's irrespective of what current validity anyone might ascribe to these things.

- Orthodox polemicists will engage in attacking one sided constructions of "western theology" that may have no bearing or likeness to past or current teaching.

There is just something fundamentally disingenuous about this, which is why it bothers me; along with what I assume the reason is for all of this - not the mutual edification of everyone, but simply to proselytize from other Christian confessions.

I'm not a proponent of any one particular view of the Atonement myself.  I find it very hard to explain.  Nor do I see an "Eastern" view or a "Western" view.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: aserb on April 17, 2007, 12:06:32 PM
[quoteI would encourage some Orthodox to not "ghetto-ize" themselves (whether cradles or hyperdox converts wishing demonize everything from their past). Talk to some Christians from other faith communities to learn what real people (not paper tigers) believe. Read a little bit (just for information sake). Maybe attend a service (for purely informational reasons - I'm not asking anyone to pray with heterodox). If only for purely evangelistic purposes at the least and because we live in a pluralistic society and the majority of your neighbors do no believe exactly as you do. In fact, more of them probably have no faith rather than being of another faith tradition. So you have way more in common with your "western" Christian neighbors than you do with non-religious, secular pagans. Maybe try to understand them, rather than stereotype them.]   [/quote]

Hear hear and amen.

It is interesting that many hyperconverts criticize cradles for being in an ehtnic ghetto when they in turn are creating a theological ghetto, which, I might add is prevalent among Evangelical Christians who believe that their way is the only right way of salvation. Many covnerts I dare say carry this over from their evangelical past and in turn infect pious cradles.

However, to be fair - I think that ghettoization is a human trait be it theological, ethnic or even economic as is the case of some churches whose members are in the upper income brackets.

The reason I like Brother Aidans response so much is that in reality I believe that the average Joe or Jane believer (regardless of Orthodox or non-Orthodox, cradle or convert) is not concerned with soteriology on a day to day basis.

The luxury of debating soteriology is for in most cases the petty bourgeoisie and to some extent the intelligensia but not the prolitereat.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 17, 2007, 12:31:47 PM
Here is definitive proof that "western Christians" do not have a singular understanding of the atonement stuck in substitution and blood sacrifice. This was the "Unison confession of faith" (recited by the congregation) in the bulletin of my sister's Presbyterian church for their worship service this past Sunday:

"God's reconciling act in Jesus Christ is a mystery which the Scriptures describe in various ways. It is called the sacrifice a lamb, a shepherd's life given for His sheep, atonement by a priest; again it is ransom of a slave, payment of debt, vicarious satisfaction of a legal penalty, and victory over the powers of evil.
These are expressions of a truth which remains beyond the reach of all theory in the depths of God's love for man. They reveal the gravity, cost, and sure achievement of God's reconciling work. The risen Christ is the savior for all mankind. Those joined to him by faith are set right with God and commissioned to serve as his reconciling community. Christ is the head of this community, the church, which began with the apostles and continues through all generations." - from the Presbyterian Confession of 1967.

In fact, I think this statement shatters a number of stereotypes that some Orthodox have regarding protestants.



I never believed that western Christians had only one view of salvation. The disagreement was Orthodox do not have a view which includes Divine satisfaction.

And I have met enough Orthodox priests and bishops from the middle east and Greece to know there is definitely an eastern view of Christianity. They have challenged my assumptions of how I view my faith. I think part of the eastern view is lost in translation (our English Bible was originally translated by Latin theologians at the command of King James). Whenever I have attended Bible studies given by Greek priests, I have discovered that  the true meaning of the scriptures have been lost in translation. My own Syrian grandfather used his Arabic bible (which was translated from the original Greek and Hebrew by Orthodox translators) when he conducted Bible studies because he said it was more precise and correct. Maybe one day, God willing, we will have an English translation of the Bible taken from the original Greek and Hebrew translated by Orthodox translators.

There is a reason I chose a Syrian-born priest to be my father-confessor. He brings with him the living Antiochian Orthodox tradition from the middle east. This living tradition cannot be easily defined or categorized (something we westerners love to do). It can only be lived and so I am trying to follow not only his counsel but also his example.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Papist on April 17, 2007, 12:34:16 PM


The luxury of debating soteriology is for in most cases the petty bourgeoisie and to some extent the intelligensia but not the prolitereat.
But that is not a good thing. We should all be educating ourselves with regard to our respective faiths. It is important to study and debate. How can we love God if we do not know him?
Many Blessings in Christ,
Chris
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: aserb on April 17, 2007, 06:15:29 PM
Tamara:

I think that you hit the nail on the head in western society we tend to like thinks neat and categorized and that is not always the case in Orthodoxy. Upon my return to Orthodoxy a wise priest told me that Orthodoxy is something to be lived not just read about.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 17, 2007, 10:56:14 PM
Hi,

Just came back from rough plane situations in the East Coast.

Wow...okay...maybe, we're getting somewhere.

I was reading some of the things that Fr. John Romanides and Vladimir Moss wrote on this very subject.  I haven't read all, but look through the Fr. Romanides' paper, I felt that he was being quite polemical and one-sided, and frankly some stuff he wrote was not showing the full truth.  At the same time, someone here mentioned St. Paul's letter to the Hebrews, and Fr. Romanides' seemed to have failed and hardly sighted anything from that crucial letter in the Bible.

Vladimir Moss, already at the first two or three chapters takes such a realistic stand.  In fact, he voices the same concern as I voice:

Quote
So there would appear to be three reasons for the rejection of the juridical theory by the HOCNA bishops: (1) a vaguely expressed emotional distaste for the emotional connotations of certain words such as "satisfied" and "appeased",  (2) the supposed division it creates in the simplicity of the Divinity, and (3) its attribution to God of a certain pagan concept of necessity.

     (1), though an emotional rather than a strictly intellectual accusation, actually represents, in our opinion, the real motivation for the opposition to the so-called juridical theory, and will consequently be discussed at some length below. (2) presumably refers (although it is not clearly stated in this passage) to the supposed contradiction between love and "wrath" as attributes of God, and will also be discussed at length. (3) is simply a misunderstanding, in our view, and will therefore be briefly discussed now before going on to the more serious accusations.

And he begins to explain it here:

Quote
At the heart of the controversy surrounding the juridical model of redemption, and closely related to the point just made about its metaphorical nature, lies the question of the emotional connotations of the language used in it - and of the emotional reaction to those connotations on the part of some of its critics. Metropolitan Anthony chooses to see in the language of the juridical model - even in the very sober form in which is presented by Metropolitan Philaret - the expression of fallen human emotions "unworthy" of God and the great mystery of God's salvation of mankind. Words such as "curse", "vengeance", "wrath", "ransom" all have the wrong connotations for him, even disgust him; he would like to replace them by more "positive" words such as "love" and "compassion". What he apparently fails to realize is that all words used to explain the mystery, including "love" and "compassion", are more or less tainted by their association with fallen human emotions and have to be purified in our understanding when applied to God.

Then, later, he actually uses the idea that "love" and "wrath" are two sides of the same coin, which I don't think we are opposed to at all.

The problem with many Orthodox, imo, is that when hearing the "juridical concept," they will attack back with the usual:  "So you're saying that a bloodthirsty God in His divine wrath lead us to be punished to death and cannot be satisfied unless by having His Own Son killed to appease His Divine Wrath.  What a pagan concept of bloodthirsty gods!!!"

And yet, already, Orthodox are assuming that those who uphold this concept make God look like man, and exaggerate the view further than what was being taught, even in the Eastern Fathers.

Anyway, I think Peter the Aleut has explained my view better during my absence that I can do so myself.

Dear Demetrios,

Yes, I believe and have never believed otherwise that all people, righteous or not, will rise from the dead on "Judgment Day".

God bless.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 18, 2007, 08:50:38 AM
In the Great Euchologion (Venice, 1862), a fundamental liturgical book of the Church, we read:

"O God, the great and most high, Thou Who alone hast immortality"
[7th prayer of Vespers, p. 15]
"Thou Who alone art life-giving by nature... O only immortal"
[Ode 5, Funeral Canon for Laymen, p. 410]
"Thou art the only immortal" [p.  410]
"The only One Who is immortal because of His godly nature"

[Ode 1, Funeral Canon for Laymen, p. 471]

Saint Irenaeus puts it: "The teaching that the human soul is naturally immortal is from the devil" (Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, III, 20. 1). We find the same warning in Saint Justin (Dialogue with Trypho 6. 1-2), in Theophilus of Antioch (To Autolycus 2. 97), in Tatian (To the Greeks 13), etc.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 18, 2007, 11:24:39 PM
In the Great Euchologion (Venice, 1862), a fundamental liturgical book of the Church, we read:

"O God, the great and most high, Thou Who alone hast immortality"
[7th prayer of Vespers, p. 15]
"Thou Who alone art life-giving by nature... O only immortal"
[Ode 5, Funeral Canon for Laymen, p. 410]
"Thou art the only immortal" [p.  410]
"The only One Who is immortal because of His godly nature"

[Ode 1, Funeral Canon for Laymen, p. 471]

Saint Irenaeus puts it: "The teaching that the human soul is naturally immortal is from the devil" (Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, III, 20. 1). We find the same warning in Saint Justin (Dialogue with Trypho 6. 1-2), in Theophilus of Antioch (To Autolycus 2. 97), in Tatian (To the Greeks 13), etc.
Please see my reply to this post here:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11373.msg155981.html#msg155981 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11373.msg155981.html#msg155981)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 20, 2007, 01:43:52 PM
Please see my reply to this post here:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11373.msg155981.html#msg155981 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11373.msg155981.html#msg155981)

I hope were clear now. Those in hell will not resurrect. Evil will cease to exist, it is temporary.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 20, 2007, 05:26:27 PM
Post moved to more appropriate thread. (PtA)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 29, 2007, 09:37:26 PM
I'm sorry to post this for the nay sayers but this must have surely bin overlooked when you read St. Athanasius.

Athanasius of Alexandria, On the Incarnation of the Word
 
Chapter 20
 
5. And so it was that two marvels came to pass at once, that the death of all was accomplished in the Lord's body, and that death and corruption were wholly done away by reason of the Word that was united with it. For there was need of death, and death must needs be suffered on behalf of all, that the debt owing from all might be paid. 6. Whence, as I said before, the Word, since it was not possible for Him to die, as He was immortal, took to Himself a body such as could die, that He might offer it as His own in the stead of all, and as suffering, through His union with it, on behalf of all, 'Bring to nought Him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and might deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage'.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 30, 2007, 06:59:07 PM
I really think culture conditions what strands of scriptural understanding of the atonement people latch onto and emphasize (or feel speaks to their situation). I read an interview with an Indian (not Native American; but a native of India). He encountered Christianity in Britain and as he read the New Testament and studied Christainity, he felt that he could not understand and relate to the concept that Jesus paid for our sins. But he immediately saw that Jesus paid for our karma. He immediately came to view him as the eternal bodhisattva and came to faith in Christ.

Hence, it's not just east vs. west; this wonderful multi-faceted diamond in scripture sparkles at just the right angle for each culture it is introduced to.

PS. I am not suggesting any sort of cultural relativism. I am saying that this absolute truth and eternal mystery is so big and so awesome as to embrace and speak to all of human culture over all of time.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 30, 2007, 07:57:07 PM
I really think culture conditions what strands of scriptural understanding of the atonement people latch onto and emphasize (or feel speaks to their situation). I read an interview with an Indian (not Native American; but a native of India). He encountered Christianity in Britain and as he read the New Testament and studied Christainity, he felt that he could not understand and relate to the concept that Jesus paid for our sins. But he immediately saw that Jesus paid for our karma. He immediately came to view him as the eternal bodhisattva and came to faith in Christ.

Hence, it's not just east vs. west; this wonderful multi-faceted diamond in scripture sparkles at just the right angle for each culture it is introduced to.

PS. I am not suggesting any sort of cultural relativism. I am saying that this absolute truth and eternal mystery is so big and so awesome as to embrace and speak to all of human culture over all of time.

Your correct BrotherAidan. This text was writen in the east so it should be translated from the eastern tradition. One could easily be mislead when veiwed from a different cultural background.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: jnorm888 on April 24, 2008, 10:55:35 AM
I'm going to post this once and then continue next week, since this is a topic that greatly interests me and puts me into a longing position to try to understand St. Augustine without all the anti-Western bias.

When people think "penal system" they think of Anselm.  There are two things in Anselm that I find that I so far cannot find in St. Augustine:

1.  The concept of an "infinite" sin
2.  The concept of "robbing" God's glory

These two concepts to me are troublesome, since it undermines certain ontological beliefs.  However, all other concepts against the penal system I don't find unorthodox, things like "appeasing the wrath of God," or "ransom."  Even the author you post admits that these languages are found in the Eastern fathers and the OT, but they did not proceed to explain them, but rather taking them in an allegorical sense.  "Appeasing the wrath of God" simply could be the allegory to the destruction of sin that so burns us in our relationship with God, and this allegory should not undermine the "Loving Fire of God."  The "ransom" is Christ's substitution on behalf of all mankind, turning curse into blessing.  Taking this allegory further, we can see the Orthodox beliefs of theosis being born clearly, showing that Christ came as man to give us what is His, that we may be glorified in Him.

God bless.



Good point. I kinda saw the samething. What I find bad about Saint Augustine however,....at least at this time....is his view of the loss of free will after the fall of Adam and Eve,. As well as his view of the imputation of Adam's guilt on mankind.

From what I saw, he changed his view about grace, and free will 2 times.

He changed it the first time when he read something by Saint Cyprian when Cyprian quoted 1st Corinthians 4:7 by Saint Paul. He even admits it himself. According to him he had a revelation, and he thought it came from God.

This was when he formed his view of "Prevenient grace".....I could be wrong about this, but this was when I first noticed his ussage of it.

 From that time onward he saw "faith" as being a gift from God. However, he still believed that our will still had the power to accept or reject the free gift of Faith. This is pretty much where I stand at this time. But he seemed to change his mind again.

Towards the end of his life he started to teach some form of "determinism". It's not really clear, but he would keep making statements in his latter theological works that would make it seem as if God coerces our will as He pleases.


He also changed his mind in regards to alot of scripture passages in regards to God wanting to save "all mankind". Early in His christian life, he believed that "all men" meant every single individual, but latter in his christian life....he changed his view to "some of every kind".

Now how this relates to his views about the Atonement is unknown to me at this time.




But I agree with everything you said in this post.






I've been reading Augustine off and on for 7 years now. Some months ago, I was charting some of his changes in regards to the topic of grace and free will, but I put that on hold for awhile.





JNORM888
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: jnorm888 on April 24, 2008, 11:55:13 AM
There are two aspects when determining how the Orthodox view the matter. As St. Gregory stated. There was a ransom and reconciliation. The ransom was to the devil as stated above. The reconciliation was to the father. One must understand that the word reconciliation doesn't imply that it was a forced union as the west sees it. It means a putting together or reuniting.
  To unite the created with the uncreated a sinless example of a human was needed. To see this more clearly we can go back to the Jewish tradition. What exactly were they trying to accomplish with there offering of a blameless lamb. Since there was no sinless human to offer to god they use to deliver up sinless animals in there place. But the animals are not the temple of the holy spirit.  The union of the uncreated and created can only be accomplished with a vessel of the holy spirit. Only through a man can it be accomplished. When the world sent Christ to the cross. They united human nature with the uncreated. It's wasn't to satisfy an angry God.


Awsome!!!




JNORM888
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: jnorm888 on April 24, 2008, 12:03:30 PM


Your right. The church of the past has always taught us that life eternal is based on communion with Christ. But the Church according to OC net. is teaching us that eternal life belongs to all. ???
The problem is they can't seem to back it up.


Eternal life belonging to all is in regards to "access" or "posibility". The Church is meant to save every individual on the Planet.


But this doesn't mean that "every individual" will choose to Join themselves to the Church.








JNORM888
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: falafel333 on April 28, 2008, 11:46:13 PM
I'm sorry I can see that this is a one year old discussion, but I've just recently come across it and feeling really strongly about the issue I feel like I just have to add my 2 cents worth in response to the question posed in the subject line:

Because it is reminiscent of ancient pagan deities whose bloodthirsty wrath could only be assuaged by the blood of virgins
Because it disfigures God into some cruel and ruthless being who can only be satisfied by blood
Because the selfless act of salvation and redemption is turned on its head and becomes a selfish act to satisfy God's own self and honour
Because it diminishes the love of God
Because it makes literal what are merely metaphors and analogies
Because the crucifixion becomes an act of divine necessity rather than one of voluntary divine love
Because it causes a separation within the Triune God, the Son appeasing the Father rather than making man one with the Triune God as He prays to His Father for
Because it is void of the ontological deification of man
Because it is void of man's sacramental participation in God through Christ
Because it is void of man's spiritual struggle in Christ
Because it makes God our active enemy and the Devil an innocent bystander with salvation and redemption taking place to overcome God's wrath rather than the Devil, death and sin
Because it is the foundation of the Protestant understanding of salvation and how the church and her mysteries are not necessary for salvation
Because it diminishes man's role in the process of salvation
Because it was even rejected by Catholic scholars and saints and is not a dogma of the Catholic church
Because it diminishes the wonder, beauty and majesty of the act of salvation
Because salvation is simply reduced to a moment in time
Because it creates division and contradiction with the divine attributes (as though there is some struggle between divine mercy and justice and both require satisfaction)
Because it is not explicitly contained either within the scriptural, patristic or liturgical testimony
Because it has been explicitly crticised and refuted by many prominent Orthodox theologians
Because it dismisses the entire act of salvation throughout the life of Christ and reduces it simply to the crucifixion

Perhaps others can add to, adjust, correct, elaborate on any of these...

And finally some powerful quotes from St Isaac the Syrian:

Mercy is opposed to justice. Justice is equality of the even scale, for it gives to each as he deserves... Mercy, on the other hand, is a sorrow and pity stirred up by goodness, and it compassionately inclines a man in the direction of all; it does not requite a man who is deserving of evil, and to him who is deserving of good it gives a double portion. If, therefore, it is evident that mercy belongs to the portion of righteousness, then justice belongs to the portion of wickedness. As grass and fire cannot coexist in one place, so justice and mercy cannot abide in one soul. As a grain of sand cannot counterbalance a great quantity of gold, so in comparison God’s use of justice cannot counterbalance His mercy. As a handful of sand thrown into the great sea, so are the sins of the flesh in comparison with the mind of God. And just as a strongly flowing spring is not obscured by a handful of dust, so the mercy of the Creator is not stemmed by the vices of His creatures.
(Part I, Homily 51)

Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright (cf. Ps. 24:8, 144:17), His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. 'He is good,' He says, 'to the evil and to the impious' (cf. Luke 6:35). How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? 'Friend, I do thee no wrong: I will give unto this last even as unto thee. Is thine eye evil because I am good?' (Matt. 20:12-15). How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? (Luke 15:11 ff.). None other but His very Son said these things concerning Him, lest we doubt it; and thus He bare witness concerning Him. Where, then, is God's justice, for whilst we are sinners Christ died for us! (cf. Rom. 5:8 ). But if here He is merciful, we may believe that He will not change.
(Part I, Homily 60)



EDIT:  Fixed unintended smiley (and nothing more)  -PtA
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 29, 2008, 11:58:47 PM
Beautiful Falafel! What you wrote is beautiful!

Anyone who wants to see what the Church teaches about our salvation
can study our liturgical prayers and hymns to understand what we believe.
We pray our theology and there is nothing in that theology which speaks of
a wrathful God or penal satisfaction...Christ came to rescue us and to destroy
death.

http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/prayers/triodion/hwk_sat

Below from Matins of Great and Holy Saturday:

TONE 8

TODAY HELL CRIES OUT GROANING:
I SHOULD NOT HAVE ACCEPTED THE MAN BORN OF MARY.
HE CAME AND DESTROYED MY POWER.
HE SHATTERED THE GATES OF BRASS.
AS GOD, HE RAISED THE SOULS THAT I HAD HELD CAPTIVE.
GLORY TO YOUR CROSS AND RESURRECTION, O LORD!   (Twice)

TODAY, HELL CRIES OUT GROANING:
MY DOMINION HAS BEEN SHATTERED.
I RECEIVED A DEAD MAN AS ONE OF THE DEAD,
BUT AGAINST HIM I COULD NOT PREVAIL.
FROM ETERNITY I HAD RULED THE DEAD,
BUT BEHOLD, HE RAISES ALL.
BECAUSE OF HIM DO I PERISH.
GLORY TO YOUR CROSS AND RESURRECTION, O LORD!

TODAY, HELL CRIES OUT GROANING:
MY POWER HAS BEEN TRAMPLED UPON.
THE SHEPHERD IS CRUCIFIED AND ADAM IS RAISED.
I HAVE BEEN DEPRfVED OF THOSE WHOM I RULED.
THOSE WHOM I SWALLOWED IN MY STRENGTH I HAVE GIVEN UP.
HE WHO WAS CRUCIFIED HAS EMPTIED THE TOMB.
THE POWER OF DEATH HAS BEEN VANQUISHED.
GLORY TO YOUR CROSS AND RESURRECTION, O LORD!

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 30, 2008, 12:04:48 AM
Quote
Because it was even rejected by Catholic scholars and saints and is not a dogma of the Catholic church

Great to hear.  So we should never attack the Roman Catholics or "Westerns" in general, alluding to Roman Catholic "scholasticism."
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: stashko on April 30, 2008, 12:26:27 AM
Great to hear.  So we should never attack the Roman Catholics or "Westerns" in general, alluding to Roman Catholic "scholasticism."



Brother wasn't your church influenced by the Anglican church at one time,,may be this is why your defense is for the western approch on this subject...I read this on catholic answers forum when they had the eastern christianity sub forum...i believe Fr.Ambrose mentioned it there....Can you enlighten me about it,thats if you known anything about it......Coptic christians seem to go for the awefull western religious art...... i wounder if this could be anglican influence as well.... stanislav.......Christ has Risen ....................(http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/8/8_3_15.gif)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on April 30, 2008, 12:33:55 AM
Great to hear.  So we should never attack the Roman Catholics or "Westerns" in general, alluding to Roman Catholic "scholasticism."

Right. Anselmian satisfaction is not penal substitution. We have not dogmatized the workings of the Atonement, but "penal substitution" is not accepted by us. In fact, a Catholic promoting that might well be accused of Jansenism.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on April 30, 2008, 12:43:48 AM


Brother wasn't your church influenced by the Anglican church at one time,,may be this is why your defense is for the western approch on this subject...I read this on catholic answers forum when they had the eastern christianity sub forum...i believe Fr.Ambrose mentioned it there....Can you enlighten me about it,thats if you known anything about it......Coptic christians seem to go for the awefull western religious art...... i wounder if this could be anglican influence as well.... stanislav.......Christ has Risen ....................(http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/8/8_3_15.gif)

I am not necessarily taking it personally because of some Anglican influence on my Church (actually I never really heard of that, but I am not very learned of contemporary Coptic history).  In the beginning, I asked if Anselm held views that are similar to views like "Infinite Sin" and "Robbing God's glory" that I would have a hard time to accept.  I based my personal views on St. Athanasius' ideas to keep God's laws consistent.

God bless.

PS  I would venture to say that while I'm not a fan of borrowing Western art as our own, I wouldn't necessarily deem Western art as "awful." It's actually very attractive, just as attractive as Ethiopian, Greek, Russian, Armenian, Indian, or Coptic art.   And I've understood that Egyptian people due to their piety would take any art portraying love of certain saints like the Theotokos to be sacred for their own veneration, and it seems that they have taken a lot of influence from that Western style.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Riddikulus on April 30, 2008, 12:44:56 AM


Coptic christians seem to go for the awefull western religious art......

I have to admit a preference to Western religious art, too. I take "awefull" to mean awesome. :P It took me awhile to appreciate Eastern icons, and even still I search for those that favour a Western rendering.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Credo.InDeum on April 30, 2008, 12:57:04 AM
I have to admit a preference to Western religious art, too. I take "awefull" to mean awesome. :P It took me awhile to appreciate Eastern icons, and even still I search for those that favour a Western rendering.
Is it just me or are some of the folk here who complain about "awful western art" more eastern than any easterner? I mean ... how on earth can people attribute some negative quality to the art of the 'west' since western art borrows from every major tradition in art no matter where it comes from and you'll find in western art everything that is available in eastern art - in fact i am not sure that there is really a genuine distinction to be made between the art of east and west except perhaps for an emphasis in Orthodox churches on icons and an emphasis in Catholic churches on art from several traditions including Renaissance realism.

weird!
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Entscheidungsproblem on April 30, 2008, 12:59:04 AM
Is it just me or are some of the folk here who complain about "awful western art" more eastern than any easterner? I mean ... how on earth can people attribute some negative quality to the art of the 'west' since western art borrows from every major tradition in art no matter where it comes from and you'll find in western art everything that is available in eastern art - in fact i am not sure that there is really a genuine distinction to be made between the art of east and west except perhaps for an emphasis in Orthodox churches on icons and an emphasis in Catholic churches on art from several traditions including Renaissance realism.

weird!

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: stashko on April 30, 2008, 01:15:22 AM
I am not necessarily taking it personally because of some Anglican influence on my Church (actually I never really heard of that, but I am not very learned of contemporary Coptic history).  In the beginning, I asked if Anselm held views that are similar to views like "Infinite Sin" and "Robbing God's glory" that I would have a hard time to accept.  I based my personal views on St. Athanasius' ideas to keep God's laws consistent.

God bless.

PS  I would venture to say that while I'm not a fan of borrowing Western art as our own, I wouldn't necessarily deem Western art as "awful." It's actually very attractive, just as attractive as Ethiopian, Greek, Russian, Armenian, Indian, or Coptic art.   And I've understood that Egyptian people due to their piety would take any art portraying love of certain saints like the Theotokos to be sacred for their own veneration, and it seems that they have taken a lot of influence from that Western style.



Brother no offence to you or the holy coptic orthodox church....i my self rarely seen a icon of the holy Virgin by her self in eastern orthodox church mostly with the holy infant child in her lap....in a lot of the u-tub video's that iv'watched of the coptic church some had the western art of the saints and  of the virgin by her self...even in the egyptian coptic apparition she seems to resemble the western despiction,,why is that.....like the images of fatima or lourdes its so odd  .....stanislav,,,,,Christ Has Risen...........(http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/8/8_3_15.gif)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 30, 2008, 01:16:39 AM
Okay.  Back on topic, please.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Credo.InDeum on April 30, 2008, 01:45:56 AM
So what do Orthodox Christians believe about the atonement given that the topic header states that Orthodox Christians do not believe in the penal satisfaction theory?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 30, 2008, 01:48:18 AM
So what do Orthodox Christians believe about the atonement given that the topic header states that Orthodox Christians do not believe in the penal satisfaction theory?
A good place to go for answers to this question:  Why Did Jesus Have to Die For Our Sins??? (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15630.0.html)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Credo.InDeum on April 30, 2008, 02:03:00 AM
A good place to go for answers to this question:  Why Did Jesus Have to Die For Our Sins??? (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15630.0.html)
Thanks for the link; I'll read it shortly.

I went to page 1 of this thread where there is a bit of to and fro between Orthodox forum members about anti-western bias and the language used in saint Anselm and/or saint Augustine. It appears that there is some debate going on about what Orthodox Christians believe and teach on the subject of the thread. That is healthy, there is similar debate in Catholic circles - Franciscan and Dominican orders have debated this topic since the 13th century.
 :scyth:
I am still curious however, is there any kind of emerging consensus among the members of this forum about the meaning of the atonement and does that consensus (if it exists) correspond to some specific theory of the atonement?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: falafel333 on April 30, 2008, 02:18:41 AM
Great to hear.  So we should never attack the Roman Catholics or "Westerns" in general, alluding to Roman Catholic "scholasticism."

While the satisfaction theory of the atonement is widely acknowledged by theologians to be a by-product of Scholastic theology as well as the feudalistic society of Anselm's time, many reknown Catholic saints of the time criticised and rejected the theory, and the Roman Catholic Church, while it could have, never accepted it as a dogma of the church. Obviously many of its short-comings as are recognised by theologians and faithful today were also realised then - namely that it does injustice to God's love and reduces salvation to a necessity within the Divine nature.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: falafel333 on April 30, 2008, 02:30:58 AM
So what do Orthodox Christians believe about the atonement given that the topic header states that Orthodox Christians do not believe in the penal satisfaction theory?

The beauty about the Orthodox understanding of the atonement and what you will find in a careful reading of St Athanasius and other patristic writers is that Christ did not have to die to achieve our salvation, nor did he have to incarnate or take a human body, be baptised, suffer and so on. He could have achieved our salvation through any means he may have so desired. However, the divine wisdom freely chose the way of suffering and death because it was through this that God could most reveal his love for mankind and how great this love truely is.

In the atonement (at-one-ment) God becomes one with man and identifies with him in everything, even death, and at every moment where man struggles, is weak and lacks the strength Christ, the God-man, provides the victory. In so far then as we walk today in Christ's steps and become one with him we are afforded the same victory as he takes what is ours and gives us what is his.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 30, 2008, 04:53:43 AM
If you read our prayers, we do, we just don't admit it!  :D
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2008, 07:00:08 AM
^ I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, but I do have a problem with people presuming to tell me what I do and do not believe.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tzimis on April 30, 2008, 09:45:47 AM
If you read our prayers, we do, we just don't admit it!  :D
Matthew 5:8  Blessed are the pure in heart,
      for they will see God.


 We all read the same text.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 30, 2008, 05:34:04 PM
^ I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, but I do have a problem with people presuming to tell me what I do and do not believe.


George,

All these doubters have to do is read the prayers and hymns from Holy Week and they will see there is no mention of the guilt of original sin or of a wrathful God who demands justice. All the prayers speak of Christ's victory over death and His rescue of those who were in Hades. I provided a link on the OCF site which lists all the services for Lent and Holy Week if anyone wants to know what the Church teaches on the subject.

http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/prayers/triodion/triodion.html
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on April 30, 2008, 11:29:18 PM
But we do have prayers that at least imply some of the concepts of penal satisfaction/substitutionary atonement

the Jordanville prayer book morning prayer to Christ: "if faith in thee savest the desperate, bhold I believe....Let faith instead of works be imputed to me O my God for thou wilt find no works which could justify me. But may my faith suffice instead of all works, amy it answer for, may it acquit me ..."

a praye of St. Basil: "...who in your great compassion sent down your Onlybegotten Son...for the redemption of mankind and by his precious cross destroyed the writing of our sins."

Granted, these do not have to be interpreted in terms of substitution/satisfaction, but they very easily can be

Because it is a minor theme in Orthodox prayers and dogma (unlike in the West where it is not only the major theme, but often the only one) and because we do stress the conquering of sin and death and the victory of Christ over the devil and the newness of life he brings and the healing of our sin-sick souls does not mean that there is no concept at all of Christ dying for our sins, taking on himself the punishment each one of us deserves, being wounded for our transgressions, etc.

It's there, we don't elaborate and speculate on it like the West tends to, in some way and in some sense Christ took our place in bearing our sins; just like the eucharist is there: water, wine and bread/body and blood of Christ - we accept the mystery without defining, speculating.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Tamara on April 30, 2008, 11:59:48 PM
But we do have prayers that at least imply some of the concepts of penal satisfaction/substitutionary atonement

the Jordanville prayer book morning prayer to Christ: "if faith in thee savest the desperate, bhold I believe....Let faith instead of works be imputed to me O my God for thou wilt find no works which could justify me. But may my faith suffice instead of all works, amy it answer for, may it acquit me ..."

a praye of St. Basil: "...who in your great compassion sent down your Onlybegotten Son...for the redemption of mankind and by his precious cross destroyed the writing of our sins."

Granted, these do not have to be interpreted in terms of substitution/satisfaction, but they very easily can be

Because it is a minor theme in Orthodox prayers and dogma (unlike in the West where it is not only the major theme, but often the only one) and because we do stress the conquering of sin and death and the victory of Christ over the devil and the newness of life he brings and the healing of our sin-sick souls does not mean that there is no concept at all of Christ dying for our sins, taking on himself the punishment each one of us deserves, being wounded for our transgressions, etc.

It's there, we don't elaborate and speculate on it like the West tends to, in some way and in some sense Christ took our place in bearing our sins; just like the eucharist is there: water, wine and bread/body and blood of Christ - we accept the mystery without defining, speculating.
But the Jordanville prayer book cannot be placed on par with the liturgics of Holy Week which have been accepted by the whole Orthodox world through the centuries. I have a copy of this prayer book which was the third edition in 1979 so I wonder when it was first produced and where. Plus, from what I have learned so far, we must be very careful about some of the translations from the Slavonic works which were produced during the western captivity of Russia. For example; the Russian absolution prayer is very different than the Greek version of the same prayer.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 01, 2008, 12:09:02 AM
But the Jordanville prayer book cannot be placed on par with the liturgics of Holy Week which have been accepted by the whole Orthodox world through the centuries. I have a copy of this prayer book which was the third edition in 1979 so I wonder when it was first produced and where. Plus, from what I have learned so far, we must be very careful about some of the translations from the Slavonic works which were produced during the western captivity of Russia. For example; the Russian absolution prayer is very different than the Greek version of the same prayer.
I think you may be missing BrotherAidan's point, though.  I don't see him arguing that we should believe in the penal satisfaction theory based on its presence in the Jordanville Prayer Book; rather, I see him arguing that the Jordanville Prayer Book is evidence that the penal satisfaction theory is not totally absent from Orthodox theology.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: falafel333 on May 01, 2008, 12:13:25 AM
But we do have prayers that at least imply some of the concepts of penal satisfaction/substitutionary atonement

the Jordanville prayer book morning prayer to Christ: "if faith in thee savest the desperate, bhold I believe....Let faith instead of works be imputed to me O my God for thou wilt find no works which could justify me. But may my faith suffice instead of all works, amy it answer for, may it acquit me ..."

a praye of St. Basil: "...who in your great compassion sent down your Onlybegotten Son...for the redemption of mankind and by his precious cross destroyed the writing of our sins."

Granted, these do not have to be interpreted in terms of substitution/satisfaction, but they very easily can be

Because it is a minor theme in Orthodox prayers and dogma (unlike in the West where it is not only the major theme, but often the only one) and because we do stress the conquering of sin and death and the victory of Christ over the devil and the newness of life he brings and the healing of our sin-sick souls does not mean that there is no concept at all of Christ dying for our sins, taking on himself the punishment each one of us deserves, being wounded for our transgressions, etc.

It's there, we don't elaborate and speculate on it like the West tends to, in some way and in some sense Christ took our place in bearing our sins; just like the eucharist is there: water, wine and bread/body and blood of Christ - we accept the mystery without defining, speculating.

You are right, in so far that there are allusions to juridical elements of the atonement within Orthodoxy, even more so we cannot escape the Biblical passages which imply such. No one can argue that such allusions are not made either within scripture, patristics or liturgics, however these should be distinguished from the western theories of atonement which they have tended to lead towards. While scripture simply employed a rich and diverse use of language in order to metaphorically and figuratively demonstrate the power, wonder and majesty of the atoning sacrifice of Christ, I don't think that any of these were intended to be used as rigid and literal theories or dogmas with regards to the atonement. Therefore, we need to understand the main point of the analogy being provided and not attempt to stretch it too far.  
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: AMM on May 01, 2008, 10:53:34 AM
I am still curious however, is there any kind of emerging consensus among the members of this forum about the meaning of the atonement and does that consensus (if it exists) correspond to some specific theory of the atonement?

Unless you're trying to woo Protestant converts, it's probably not something you sit around and think about a whole lot.  I certainly had completely forgotten about this thread.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on May 01, 2008, 04:05:48 PM
I think you may be missing BrotherAidan's point, though.  I don't see him arguing that we should believe in the penal satisfaction theory based on its presence in the Jordanville Prayer Book; rather, I see him arguing that the Jordanville Prayer Book is evidence that the penal satisfaction theory is not totally absent from Orthodox theology.

Exactly!
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on May 01, 2008, 04:15:07 PM
You are right, in so far that there are allusions to juridical elements of the atonement within Orthodoxy, even more so we cannot escape the Biblical passages which imply such. No one can argue that such allusions are not made either within scripture, patristics or liturgics, however these should be distinguished from the western theories of atonement which they have tended to lead towards. While scripture simply employed a rich and diverse use of language in order to metaphorically and figuratively demonstrate the power, wonder and majesty of the atoning sacrifice of Christ, I don't think that any of these were intended to be used as rigid and literal theories or dogmas with regards to the atonement. Therefore, we need to understand the main point of the analogy being provided and not attempt to stretch it too far.  

Again, thanks for catching my point.

In our zeal to have no shadow of Anslem's theology come across our dogma, we tend to ignore, deny, re-intepret or interpret disengenuously certain portions of Scripture, prayers etc. that use an analogy or diverse use of language to describe Christ's saving work that might even hint at substitution or penal satisfaction.

The problem in the West, as falafel said is "stretching it too far." Let's us not constrtict it to thin.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 02, 2008, 01:25:24 PM
Thread split complete...  New thread:  Myths of the Theotokos in the Jordanville Prayer Book (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15799.0.html)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Schultz on May 02, 2008, 01:57:04 PM
But the Jordanville prayer book cannot be placed on par with the liturgics of Holy Week which have been accepted by the whole Orthodox world through the centuries. I have a copy of this prayer book which was the third edition in 1979 so I wonder when it was first produced and where. Plus, from what I have learned so far, we must be very careful about some of the translations from the Slavonic works which were produced during the western captivity of Russia. For example; the Russian absolution prayer is very different than the Greek version of the same prayer.

Anyone know what the Old Believer (priested, of course) absolution prayer is?  I wonder how it matches up to the "western captivity" Russian one.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Fr. David on December 28, 2008, 02:28:18 AM
This thread was linked to by ozgeorge in another, more recent thread, and I noticed that I had posted in it (which I had forgotten), and then saw that ozgeorge had responded.  So, a year and a half later, my response. 

David,
I have read your articles, and I liked them, but I don't think we can draw the conclusion that the "judicial" and "ontological" views complement each other, and I'm not sure how you are trying to make this connection when you say:
I mean...God demands a perfect humanity for union with Himself and will take no less, for to do so would 1) go against the reality of holiness' incompatibility with iniquity and 2) damn us all as a natural consequence...and His love for us could not bear the latter, nor would His holiness allow for the former to pass unchallenged and unconquered.
(1) above, is ontological- evil and good, impurity and purity cannot mix, because that would mean that God is no longer Pure, and therefore, no longer God., and in (2), it is not God Who is damns us, and He acts, not with "Justice" but with Mercy to solve an ontological problem:
our impurity and consequential seperation from Him Who is the All Pure Source of Life vs. His desire that we be united with Him

I think that what I was looking to say regarding the "juridical" and "ontological" views was that God judges based on ontological criteria.  In other words, His being is revealed to our being, and that revelation is itself our judgment.  I would say that His judgment is not based on any type of legal fiction but rather on what we actually have become by grace through faith.  So I agree that (1) is ontological, yet it is also why many will stand in stark relief on Judgment Day against the holiness of God, because they themselves are not holy.  (2) is also a "damning" of sorts in addition to being a salvation, for His ontological appearance and interaction with Creation will be at a point when He knows that many people will not be ontologically ready to receive Him, yet He will appear and consume the ungodly with His presence anyway.  They will be damned by the appearance of a Love which they hate.  So while He has acted in mercy to solve the problem of human and divine natures' being incompatible with one another, not all humans will have taken advantage of it, and God's appearance will burn them as "wrath."

When we put on Christ, we become Him in reality, our entire being being changed into what He is through faith, by grace.  When we see Him, we shall be like Him, and instead of His presence bringing everlasting punishment at His appearing, His presence will bring times of refreshing.  So we were ransomed from death and corruption by Christ's substitution on the Cross in order that we would undergo an ontological change through theosis and thus be saved from the "everlasting punishment" which those who have not put on Christ and thus remain united to death and corruption will undergo.

All of this, I think, would be very comfortable to western ears.  Where the Orthodox differ from SOME in the West would be this: we do not say that Christ's ransom was paid because the Father demanded it, as if He had any need of it for the sake of some eternally offended pride.  (Which, by the way, is something Anslem mentions as absurd in Cur Deus Homo; he himself states that God had no need of Christ's sacrifice, yet some Reformers took Anselm's seed and ran with it to places where Anselm himself never wanted to go).
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 28, 2008, 06:05:35 AM
There is an interesting essay "Salvation By Christ: A Response to Credenda /
Agenda on Orthodoxy's Teaching of Theosis and the Doctrine of Salvation
,"
by Carmen Fragapane.

http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx

Carmen Fragapane writes:

"...In EH Jones writes that in Orthodoxy "discussions of substitutionary
atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published
explanations of salvation. 

[It is absent from Bishop Kallistos Ware's The Orthodox Church]

"... the notion that redemption should be rigidly interpreted in one
particular way is itself foreign to early Christian thought: "The seven
ecumenical councils avoided defining salvation through any [one model]
alone. No universal Christian consensus demands that one view of salvation
includes or excludes all others" .

J.N.D. Kelly further explains:

"Scholars have often despaired of discovering any single unifying
thought in the Patristic teaching about the redemption. These various theories,
however, despite appearances, should not be regarded as in fact mutually
incompatible. They were all of them attempts to elucidate the same great
truth from different angles; their superficial divergences are often due to
the different Biblical images from which they started, and there is no
logical reason why, carefully stated, they should not be regarded as
complimentary". And this is precisely what we find in Orthodoxy: "While
insisting in this way upon the unity of Christ's saving economy, the
Orthodox Church has never formally endorsed any particular theory of
atonement. The Greek Fathers, following the New Testament, employ a rich
variety of images to describe what the Savior has done for us. These models
are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, each needs to be balanced by
the others. Five models stand out in particular: teacher, sacrifice, ransom,
victory and participation" ..."


Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 28, 2008, 10:10:41 AM
So we were ransomed from death and corruption by Christ's substitution on the Cross in order that we would undergo an ontological change through theosis and thus be saved from the "everlasting punishment" which those who have not put on Christ and thus remain united to death and corruption will undergo.
David,
Again, in my mind, this raises the questions:
1) To whom was the "ransom from death and corruption" paid?
2) If a substitution was required for the forgiveness of sin, how could Christ forgive the sins of the Paralytic and the Woman caught in adultery before this substitution had taken place?
3) If Theosis was impossible before the "substitution", how did Elijah not die and get taken up into Heaven in his body and meet Christ on Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration?

I mention this only because, as you say, such ideas of substitution and ransom may be "very comfortable to Western ears", but in this day and age, when people are questioning the basis of our belief, such questions can be raised and are quite valid, and we need to be ready with an answer.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 28, 2008, 12:53:34 PM
Again, in my mind, this raises the questions:
1) To whom was the "ransom from death and corruption" paid?

The idea of the "Atonement" as a Ransom was repudiated in no uncertain terms by
Gregory Nazianzen (4th century) who said:

"Was it paid to the evil one? Monstrous thought!
The devil receives a ransom not only from God but of God ..
To the Father? But we were not in bondage to him ...
And could the Father delight in the death of his Son?"
(Orationes, 45.22)

Of course salvation can be thought of as a ransom. Following
the Church Fathers, the East teaches that Christ, on the Cross,
gave "His life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28), (Mark 10:45).

The "ransom" is paid to the grave. As the Lord revealed to the Prophet Hosea
(Hosea 13:14),
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from
death."

In a sense, He pays the ransom to the devil who is the keeper of the grave and
holds the power of death (Heb. 2:14).
"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity
so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that
is, the devil."

But despite Gregory's objections above the idea became popular. Saint Gregory
protested that the question of "Who received the payment?" should not be pressed
hard. No matter what debt the Devil was owed it could not possibly have included
God himself. On the other hand, the Father could not have been the recipient of
the ransom, since he was not the one holding us captive. And if the blood of
Isaac had not pleased him, why would he desire the blood of his beloved son?

Saint Gregory sums up: "the Father accepts Christ's sacrifice without having
demanded it; the Son offers it to honour him; and the result is the defeat of
the Evil One. This is as much as we shall say of Christ; the greater portion
shall be reverenced with silence."

Anselm took aim at the exaggerated versions of the ransom theory, but didn't
agree to leave the greater portion to silence. He theorised that the payment
*was* made to God the Father. In Anselm's formulation, our sins were like an
offence against the honour of a mighty ruler. The ruler is not free to simply
forgive the transgression; restitution must be made. (This is a crucial new
element in the story; earlier Christians believed that God the Father did, in
fact, freely forgive us, like the father of the Prodigal Son - that parable
deserves serious thought in connection with this discussion.) No human would be
adequate to pay this debt, so God the Son volunteers to do so. "If the Son chose
to make over the claim He had on God to man, could the Father justly forbid Him
doing so, or refuse to man what the Son willed to give him?" Christ satisfies
our debt in this, the "Satisfaction Theory." Western Christian theology marched
on from that point, encountering controversies and developments and revisions,
but locked on the idea that Christ's death was directed toward the Father. When
Western theologians look back at the centuries before Anselm they can't find his
theory anywhere (well, there are some premonitions in Tertullian and Cyprian,
but it wasn't the mainstream.) And Anselm's ideas which developed when
Christendom had been rent in two remain, still, essentially unknown to the
ancient Churches of the East.

-oOo-

It would seem to be important to establish a vocabulary. After all, if there
are Christians who teach that substitutionary atonement is such bedrock
theology, then there must be a vocabulary connected with it which can be traced
through the writings of the first Christians and through the early centuries of
Church authors and teachers. It is just too vague to write: "this is all the
language of atonement." The Church fathers never had any problems coining words
to convey concepts which they considered important to them - they never did so
in the case of "atonement." If they had such a concept they would have found a
concrete way of expressing it.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 28, 2008, 02:35:42 PM
Thanks Father.
No matter how many times I quote St. Gregory the Theologian on this thread and no matter how many times I insist that “ransom” and “substitution” and “atonement” cannot be taken literally, people insist that we need to use these terms to make our (Orthodox) soteriology palatable to the West. But I keep arguing that these terms make no sense if taken literally rather than metaphorically. I can’t see how the “scholastic” West could find these terms "palatable" since even slightly scratching the surface of them causes them to fall apart.
George

St. Gregory the Theologian, Second Oration on Pascha

"To whom was that Blood offered that was shed for us, and why was it shed? I mean the precious and famous Blood of our God and High Priest and Sacrifice. We were detained in bondage by the evil one, sold under sin, and received pleasure in exchange for wickedness. Now, since a ransom belongs only to him who holds in bondage, I ask, to who was this offered and to what cause? If to the evil one, fie upon the outrage! The robber receives ransom, not only from God, but a ransom which consists of God Himself, and as such has an illustrious payment for his tyranny, a payment for whose sake it would have been right for him to have left us alone all together.
But first I ask, how? For it was not by Him (God) that we were being oppressed. And next, on what principle did the Blood of His only Begotten Son delight the Father, Who would not receive even Isaac when he was being offered by his father, but changed the sacrifice, putting a ram in place of a human victim? Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things."


So, again, I ask, to whom was the ransom paid if it is a literal ransom? As St. Gregory says, the one who held us in bondage is the evil one, so did he receive the ransom?
The problem with viewing terms like "ransom" and "atonement" too literally is that doing so imprisons God. Basically, it means God cannot forgive sin unless an atonement is made or a ransom paid.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ialmisry on December 28, 2008, 06:27:32 PM
Thanks Father.
No matter how many times I quote St. Gregory the Theologian on this thread and no matter how many times I insist that “ransom” and “substitution” and “atonement” cannot be taken literally, people insist that we need to use these terms to make our (Orthodox) soteriology palatable to the West. But I keep arguing that these terms make no sense if taken literally rather than metaphorically. I can’t see how the “scholastic” West could find these terms "palatable" since even slightly scratching the surface of them causes them to fall apart.
George

St. Gregory the Theologian, Second Oration on Pascha

"To whom was that Blood offered that was shed for us, and why was it shed? I mean the precious and famous Blood of our God and High Priest and Sacrifice. We were detained in bondage by the evil one, sold under sin, and received pleasure in exchange for wickedness. Now, since a ransom belongs only to him who holds in bondage, I ask, to who was this offered and to what cause? If to the evil one, fie upon the outrage! The robber receives ransom, not only from God, but a ransom which consists of God Himself, and as such has an illustrious payment for his tyranny, a payment for whose sake it would have been right for him to have left us alone all together.
But first I ask, how? For it was not by Him (God) that we were being oppressed. And next, on what principle did the Blood of His only Begotten Son delight the Father, Who would not receive even Isaac when he was being offered by his father, but changed the sacrifice, putting a ram in place of a human victim? Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things."


So, again, I ask, to whom was the ransom paid if it is a literal ransom? As St. Gregory says, the one who held us in bondage is the evil one, so did he receive the ransom?
The problem with viewing terms like "ransom" and "atonement" too literally is that doing so imprisons God. Basically, it means God cannot forgive sin unless an atonement is made or a ransom paid.


That fact that the term "atonement" had to be invented should tell people something.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 28, 2008, 10:01:24 PM
That fact that the term "atonement" had to be invented should tell people something.
What do you suggest this should tell us?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 28, 2008, 10:37:32 PM
That fact that the term "atonement" had to be invented should tell people something.
What do you suggest this should tell us?

What St. Isaac the Syrian says:

Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good’, He says ‘to the evil and to the impious.’ How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? … How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? Where, then, is God’s justice, for while we are sinners Christ died for us!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Fr. David on December 28, 2008, 10:53:07 PM
Father's answer was very good, and one with which I agree.  But, to respond to ozgeorge,

David,
Again, in my mind, this raises the questions:
1) To whom was the "ransom from death and corruption" paid?
2) If a substitution was required for the forgiveness of sin, how could Christ forgive the sins of the Paralytic and the Woman caught in adultery before this substitution had taken place?
3) If Theosis was impossible before the "substitution", how did Elijah not die and get taken up into Heaven in his body and meet Christ on Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration?

1) There is no "whom," but a "what": the reality of all mens' common mortality.  It held us captive as would a human captor, and Christ's blood was the only element strong enough to overturn the rule of death.

2) Melito of Sardis comments that, when the angel in the book of Exodus saw the blood of lambs on the Israelites' doorposts, the angel was not truly "seeing" the blood of lambs, but the blood of Christ which would cleanse all sins (which are shortcomings of being as well as of action, and which are made up for in the Life offered by Christ in His blood).  Likewise, the forgiveness offered to the Paralytic and the Adulterous Woman was "looking forward" to the Cross.  The Cross is the Axis on which all of Time, all of Creation turns; as such, there is no "before" or "after" regarding its effectiveness.  As St. Irenaeus of Lyons said, "it was necessary that he who would be saved should come into existence, that the One who saves should not exist in vain."  The "In the beginning" of Genesis 1:1 was uttered because of the Cross.  The healing of souls and bodies offered by Christ during His Advent was available because of the same.

3) Enoch, as well as Elijah, had faith in God as told in Hebrews 11, and as such shared in an imperfect participation in the yet-to-be-temporally-realized Crucifixion.  Again, any benefit men in the Old Testament received from the Lord was an economia of sorts based on what would happen on Calvary.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ialmisry on December 29, 2008, 02:14:55 AM
Father's answer was very good, and one with which I agree.  But, to respond to ozgeorge,

David,
Again, in my mind, this raises the questions:
1) To whom was the "ransom from death and corruption" paid?
2) If a substitution was required for the forgiveness of sin, how could Christ forgive the sins of the Paralytic and the Woman caught in adultery before this substitution had taken place?
3) If Theosis was impossible before the "substitution", how did Elijah not die and get taken up into Heaven in his body and meet Christ on Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration?

1) There is no "whom," but a "what": the reality of all mens' common mortality.  It held us captive as would a human captor, and Christ's blood was the only element strong enough to overturn the rule of death.

2) Melito of Sardis comments that, when the angel in the book of Exodus saw the blood of lambs on the Israelites' doorposts, the angel was not truly "seeing" the blood of lambs, but the blood of Christ which would cleanse all sins (which are shortcomings of being as well as of action, and which are made up for in the Life offered by Christ in His blood).  Likewise, the forgiveness offered to the Paralytic and the Adulterous Woman was "looking forward" to the Cross.  The Cross is the Axis on which all of Time, all of Creation turns; as such, there is no "before" or "after" regarding its effectiveness.  As St. Irenaeus of Lyons said, "it was necessary that he who would be saved should come into existence, that the One who saves should not exist in vain."  The "In the beginning" of Genesis 1:1 was uttered because of the Cross.  The healing of souls and bodies offered by Christ during His Advent was available because of the same.

3) Enoch, as well as Elijah, had faith in God as told in Hebrews 11, and as such shared in an imperfect participation in the yet-to-be-temporally-realized Crucifixion.  Again, any benefit men in the Old Testament received from the Lord was an economia of sorts based on what would happen on Calvary.

Unfortunately, such reasoning has given us the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 29, 2008, 04:01:43 AM
1) There is no "whom," but a "what": the reality of all mens' common mortality.  It held us captive as would a human captor, and Christ's blood was the only element strong enough to overturn the rule of death.
By this reasoning, God paid a debt which was owed to the mortality which He Himself gave us:
"And the LORD God said, “My Spirit shall not remain among these men forever, for they are flesh; but their days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”  (Genesis 6:3) It is God Who appointed our mortality. Is God therefore like a pyromaniac firefighter who ignites fires so that they can be seen as dramatic rescuer? And is death so much stronger than the Pantocrator God by Whose command the Universe and everything in it came to be that the only way God can defeat death is to bleed and suffer in pain?
It's absurd.

2) Melito of Sardis comments that, when the angel in the book of Exodus saw the blood of lambs on the Israelites' doorposts, the angel was not truly "seeing" the blood of lambs, but the blood of Christ which would cleanse all sins (which are shortcomings of being as well as of action, and which are made up for in the Life offered by Christ in His blood).  Likewise, the forgiveness offered to the Paralytic and the Adulterous Woman was "looking forward" to the Cross.  The Cross is the Axis on which all of Time, all of Creation turns; as such, there is no "before" or "after" regarding its effectiveness.  As St. Irenaeus of Lyons said, "it was necessary that he who would be saved should come into existence, that the One who saves should not exist in vain."  The "In the beginning" of Genesis 1:1 was uttered because of the Cross.  The healing of souls and bodies offered by Christ during His Advent was available because of the same.
3) Enoch, as well as Elijah, had faith in God as told in Hebrews 11, and as such shared in an imperfect participation in the yet-to-be-temporally-realized Crucifixion.  Again, any benefit men in the Old Testament received from the Lord was an economia of sorts based on what would happen on Calvary.
David, firstly, as ialmisry points out, this is the "logic" by which the erroneous doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was conceived. What you are basically saying is that God could not forgive sins without Christ bleeding and dying on the Cross, however, sins could be forgiven in anticipation of His bleeding and dying. Why then were the souls of the righteous dead kept in Hades in the millennia before the Harrowing of Hades and not admitted to Paradise in anticipation of the Crucifixion?  Couldn't God forgive them and admit them to Paradise in anticipation of Golgotha like the way you claim He was able to forgive sins on Earth before His death (in anticipation of it)?
Secondly, you have diminished the Authority, Dominion and Power of the Almighty God by saying that He cannot forgive sins unless certain conditions are met. The Apostle doesn't think so, because he says: "What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses,  “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy." (Romans 9:14-16)
God's Mercy is limitless because God is limitless. God's Love is limitless because God is Love and God is limitless. What you are saying is that certain criteria must be met in order for God to have Mercy and forgive sin- in other words, you are saying that God is not omnipotent, but restricted by factors external to Him. This is heresy. Now the usual Western argument is that the factors are not external to Him because they are His own Justice. And I say: Codswhollop! God is not just.  A "just" God does not make the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike (Matthew 5:45). A 'just" God does not command us to imitate Him by loving our enemies, blessing those who curse us, doing good to those who hate us and praying for those who persecute and abuse us (Matthew 5:44-45). This is what God expects of us, because He Himself does so freely.  A "just" God is not good and kind to evildoers. And most importantly,: A "just" God does not die for sinners while they are still sinners or for the ungodly while they are still ungodly.(Romans 5:6-8 )
Read again, what St Isaac the Syrian says:
“Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good’, He says ‘to the evil and to the impious.’ How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? … How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? Where, then, is God’s justice, for while we are sinners Christ died for us!”    (Ascetical Homilies, 51).
And concerning the Sacrifice of the Cross, read again what St. Gregory the Theologian says:
"Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things." (2nd Oration on Pascha).
If he who is one of only two Saints the Church calls "Theologian" says this, who am I to argue with it?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on December 30, 2008, 01:15:21 AM
here are some random thoughts

concerning ransom: why could God not have paid a ransom to the devil to ransom mankind. The devil accepts the ransom (Christ's death), but the divine offering rises again, swindling the devil our of his fealty. God didn't swindle the devil - in his greed for the death of the Son, the devil didn't consider the ramifications (sort of like not reading the fine print) and swindled himself.

concerning payment for sins: the whole Old Testament sacrificial system is echoed in the sacrificial lamb that Christ was. God doesn't need to be appeased (He is all love and mercy); some platonic perfection of justice that God must adhere to is not what we believe or assert (God is not bound by philosophical ontological constructs of attributes). But in some mystical, symbolic sense, Christ bore the punishment we were due, He bore our sins, He sacrificed himself, with His stripes we are healed, he was made to be sin who knew no sin. We are the beneficiaries. WHY DO WE ORTHODOX HAVE TO REJECT THIS WONDERFUL ACT OF OUR SAVIOUR? To prove we aren't Reformed? or Anselmian? Hey fellow Orthodox - quit being so rationalistic and western in rejecting this and arguing so meticulously and logically against it to prove your more-Orthodox-than-thou stripes and bask in the mystery and beautiful metaphor of this facet of the diamond that is our redemption.

regarding Christus Victor - we don't have much issue here (I don't think any Christian communion does). Christ clearly conquered sin and death and the devil.

Example: love hath no greater man than this, that one lay down his life for his brother.
Again, I don't think any Christian communion has any argument with this.

Participation: in the suffering of mankind. Something that, again, every Christian tradition could adhere to and agree on. Furthermore every Christian tradition would add that each Christian participates in such suffering and redeems it insofaras we offer it to Christ and carry it as our cross

So, no problem on the last 3; scripture is rich on the imagery of the first two. Quit getting hung up on logic and enter the mystery and bless and praise God for our ransom from sin and death and for our sacrificial Lamb who redeemed us.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 30, 2008, 02:07:43 AM
So, no problem on the last 3; scripture is rich on the imagery of the first two. Quit getting hung up on logic and enter the mystery and bless and praise God for our ransom from sin and death and for our sacrificial Lamb who redeemed us.
It seems to be true that the Church (= the Orthodox Church) has simply never shown any interest in the atonement theory. 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."

To my mind that speaks volumes of the importance (or lack of importance) attributed to the atonement theory in Orthodox patristics.

*
http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on December 30, 2008, 11:39:22 PM
So, no problem on the last 3; scripture is rich on the imagery of the first two. Quit getting hung up on logic and enter the mystery and bless and praise God for our ransom from sin and death and for our sacrificial Lamb who redeemed us.
It seems to be true that the Church (= the Orthodox Church) has simply never shown any interest in the atonement theory. 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."

To my mind that speaks volumes of the importance (or lack of importance) attributed to the atonement theory in Orthodox patristics.

*
http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx


that is just circular reasoning: we don't have interest in it therefore we don't have interest in it

Besides I was NOT TALKING about an atonement theory but about ATONEMENT IMAGERY. Please re-read my post. I said that we strive so hard to be anti-anselmian (or anti- reformed or western) that we downplay or reject this beautiful imagery. It's there - in the Bible and even in some of our prayers (see my early posts on this thread) - we just won't see it or admit it and thereby impoverish ourselves.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Fr. David on December 31, 2008, 12:00:31 AM
First off, I'd like to pat BrotherAiden on the back for his "random thoughts."  A very nice, if short, commentary.

Unfortunately, such reasoning has given us the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

David, firstly, as ialmisry points out, this is the "logic" by which the erroneous doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was conceived.

Well, yes, but keep in mind that it was that reasoning -- which was also used by the Fathers I mentioned above -- in conjunction with the western idea of a sexually-transmitted guilt for the transgression of Adam that needed to be avoided...which is an idea we have never had to deal with.  So the reasoning itself is not a problem; rather, I'd say, it's biblical, patristic, and Orthodox.  Abusus non tollit usum.

1) There is no "whom," but a "what": the reality of all mens' common mortality.  It held us captive as would a human captor, and Christ's blood was the only element strong enough to overturn the rule of death.
By this reasoning, God paid a debt which was owed to the mortality which He Himself gave us:
"And the LORD God said, “My Spirit shall not remain among these men forever, for they are flesh; but their days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”  (Genesis 6:3) It is God Who appointed our mortality. Is God therefore like a pyromaniac firefighter who ignites fires so that they can be seen as dramatic rescuer? And is death so much stronger than the Pantocrator God by Whose command the Universe and everything in it came to be that the only way God can defeat death is to bleed and suffer in pain?
It's absurd.

Indeed, it would be if this were the case.  God did not give us the mortality, but He did (according to the verse you quoted), set the place where it would definitely overtake us.  The Blessed Augustine put forward the (erroneous) idea that God told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the fruit, He would kill them, but this was not so.  The Lord merely told them that if they ate of the fruit of the tree, they would die.  Action, and consequence.  God created us knowing that we would try to become gods apart from God, and thus fall away from communion with Life Eternal, and thus Death would (as an unavoidable consequence) rush in to fill the vacuum, as it were.  Nevertheless, the image of God was not completely gone from us after this -- only marred -- and the "life of the flesh" was still "in the blood" of a creature, yet life tainted with death could no more free us from our bodies of death than the blind could lead the blind without both falling into a ditch. Our reality was that we were what we were eating -- the earth -- and to that earth we were bound to return.  We needed untainted Life to unite itself to us by grace in order to lift us up from our moribund state, and that Blood came on the Cross, cleansing us from our mortal shortcomings and all the things we'd done because of fear of them.

So God is not the cause of it, nor is the divine Blood satisfying any demand God has externally to us, but it is a destroying of death on our behalf, with our God substituting Himself for us on the Cross -- and by the way, that's not a substitution so that we would not have to suffer and die ourselves, but so that our co-suffering and co-dying with Him would actually produce Life as well as His, that we would be like the Firstfruits and bear life in our dying. 

And I would just stop here and say this: The OT of the thread has to do with why we do not accept the penal satisfaction theory.  I think AMM said something along the lines of "read our hymns and you'll see that we do, we just don't admit it" (forgive me; I'm too lazy to search right now).  I disagree with that assessment, as Great and Holy Friday contains not a hint of Christ's sacrifice having anything to do with the Father punishing anyone or anything, nor does it ever mention the Blood of Christ satisfying the Father's anything in any way, shape, or form.

HOWEVER, while the Orthodox do not subscribe to the penal satisfaction doctrine, I would say we do indeed subscribe to substitutionary atonement -- that is, that "God made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ."  We could never have life in ourselves, by ourselves, so God came and, on the Cross did for us what we could never do, so that we could then turn around and, cooperating with His grace, do just that!  Death and sin were trampled down by His substitution on our behalf, but as BrotherAiden mentioned, the "bait and switch" came later, as hell thought it had grasped a man but found God instead, and in so doing, vomited up the righteous dead.  In our place, for our salvation, to the glory of (but not for the sake of) God the Father.

What you are basically saying is that God could not forgive sins without Christ bleeding and dying on the Cross, however, sins could be forgiven in anticipation of His bleeding and dying. Why then were the souls of the righteous dead kept in Hades in the millennia before the Harrowing of Hades and not admitted to Paradise in anticipation of the Crucifixion?  Couldn't God forgive them and admit them to Paradise in anticipation of Golgotha like the way you claim He was able to forgive sins on Earth before His death (in anticipation of it)?

A couple of things here, I suppose.

Firstly, It's not a matter of "He could not."  It's a matter of "we could not."  God can do whatever He wants, even work outside His own "rules."  If He wants to forgive someone's sins, heal their soul and body somehow independently of Christ's blood (don't ask me how He'd do that, because it seems to be how He set it up), then that's His business.  It's like we say regarding ecclesiology: If He wants to save someone outside the physical bounds of the Church, then that's His business.  Our business is to be in the Church and "do it the way He set it up."  In terms of soteriology, that means partaking of the Life that is in the Body and Blood of Christ, which is the means of counteracting the death that reigns in our fleshly members.

Secondly, I don't tread very heavily on the idea of assigning periods of time to realms which are clearly outside time yet still, in a sense, dependent upon it (Hades and those in it, who are clearly outside time yet still "await" reunion with their bodies).  I would say that Scripture tells us that they were "waiting" to be made perfect with us, something dependent upon time.  I would say that we still ask for those who are "on this side" of Calvary to find rest in "Abraham's bosom," not in "Paradise."  So I can't tell you in a detailed sense "where" the righteous dead were or are.  I can't tell you "where" departed Christians "are" between "now" and the Second Coming of Christ except to say that they are with the Lord (for good or for ill) and that they await reunion with their bodies.  I can't tell you "why" God didn't do as you posit, except to say that neither did He forgive all men their sins, personally and out loud, prior to the Crucifixion.  Men such as Enoch and Elijah were exceptions, but that doesn't disprove the rule.

Secondly, you have diminished the Authority, Dominion and Power of the Almighty God by saying that He cannot forgive sins unless certain conditions are met.

I do not believe I have ever said this explicitly, and if I have said so implicitly, forgive me.  I'll repeat what I said above: Christ's sacrifice doesn't have anything to do with the Father angrily or bloodthirstily punishing anyone or anything, nor does it ever mention the Blood of Christ satisfying the Father in any way, shape, or form.  God can do whatever He wants, period.  Our business is to participate in God's economy, which He's set up for us (not for Himself), and that economy states that "without the shedding of blood, there is no remission."  It is not a limiting of what He "must" do (as if "must" could ever apply to the Almighty), but rather a directing of what we must do per His instruction and gracious provision.  Were we to approach God who is a consuming fire of Life and Love with death and hate still in us, we would be consumed.  God demands that we come through His Son's blood not because of any anger towards us that is vented onto His Son (God forbid!) but rather because He knows that this is how we will be cleansed -- through the Blood that the Son shed for us.  So it's not that He had to do it this way, but this is how He did it.

What you are saying is that certain criteria must be met in order for God to have Mercy and forgive sin- in other words, you are saying that God is not omnipotent, but restricted by factors external to Him. This is heresy.

True.  God is not restricted.  We are.

Now the usual Western argument is that the factors are not external to Him because they are His own Justice. And I say: Codswhollop! God is not just.

Read again, what St Isaac the Syrian says...

Oh, I love that quote. Indeed, the grace poured out on the Cross was made available to all, even while we were unrepentant.  Hardly a "just" thing to do, I agree.  His judgment in regard to men's reaction to His Love and Mercy (which was supremely revealed on the Cross) is entirely His own, and His alone, and will indeed shock people like myself in whose so-called mercy there is none of the wideness that God's mercy will one Day show.  The quote, however, does not negate Christ's substitution on our behalf, and does not contradict my position, seeing as how it does not assign any limitations or restrictions to God the Father.  God demonstrates His love towards us--as you said--by sending Christ to die for us while we were yet sinners.  He therefore would have us come, dead in sin as we are, to Him through the Cross.  Can He or could He save us without that Blood?  Well, could He create a boulder so big that He couldn't lift it?  I see the two questions as on the same level; they're both hypothetical in my book.  God can do whatever He wants; that applies to either question.  He's not limited by anything.  But, again, we are, and as such, He has provided us with an economy through which to approach Him.  That economy is death through sin, life through the Blood of Jesus Christ.

And concerning the Sacrifice of the Cross, read again what St. Gregory the Theologian says:
"Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things." (2nd Oration on Pascha).
If he who is one of only two Saints the Church calls "Theologian" says this, who am I to argue with it?

You certainly shouldn't, and I hope I've made it clear that I'm doing no such thing myself, either.  Penal satisfaction is and should be anathema, but St. Gregory's beautiful phrasing of substitutionary atonement -- "Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son" -- shows that the latter is not inseparable nor indistinguishable from the latter, and that, indeed, the latter idea is a foundational one for Orthodox -- and indeed, all -- Christians.  That prominent members of the Church of late have "simply never shown any interest in the atonement theory" in "their published explanations of salvation" does not detract from the fact that the New Testament and many, many early Fathers saw the great beauty in Christ crucified for us -- the substitution that is folly and scandal to those outside, but to us the power and wisdom of God.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 31, 2008, 12:24:28 AM
David,
St. Gregory the Theologian is not talking about substitutionary atonement.
"Atonement" is just another word for "penal satisfaction".

Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 31, 2008, 12:41:05 AM
Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.

And here's the evidence from our Orthodox Hymns for Good Friday:

Today hell cries out groaning: I should not have accepted the Man born of Mary (i.e. "I shouldn't have got into a poker game with Him"). He came and destroyed my power. He shattered the gates of brass. As God, He raised the souls that I had held captive. Glory to Thy cross and resurrection, O Lord.

Today, hell cries out groaning: My dominion has been shattered. I received a dead man as one of the dead, but against Him I could not prevail (i.e. "I was deceived"). From eternity I had ruled the dead, but behold, He raised all. Because of Him do I perish. Glory to Thy cross and resurrection, O Lord.

Today hell cries out groaning: My power has been trampled upon. The Shepherd is crucified and Adam is raised. I have been deprived of those whom I ruled. Those whom I swallowed in my strength I have given up. He Who was crucified has emptied the tombs (ie. "He has taken all my winnings and given them back to those I cheated"). The power of death has been vanquished. Glory to Thy cross and resurrection, O Lord.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ignatius on December 31, 2008, 12:48:34 AM
I think St. Athanasius does a good job of integrating all the 'imagery' that the Sacred Scriptures uses for our 'atonement' in On the Incarnation.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ialmisry on December 31, 2008, 12:51:11 AM
David,
St. Gregory the Theologian is not talking about substitutionary atonement.
"Atonement" is just another word for "penal satisfaction".

Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.
Yes, Christ died for us, not instead of us.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: SolEX01 on December 31, 2008, 12:55:31 AM
Christ in Hades reversed the deception that the Deceiver used on Adam & Eve.  There's no atonement.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ignatius on December 31, 2008, 01:47:34 AM
The law of death, which followed from the Transgression, prevailed upon us, and from it there was no escape. The thing that was happening was in truth both monstrous and unfitting. It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die; but it was equally monstrous that beings which once had shared the nature of the Word should perish and turn back again into non-existence through corruption... It was impossible, therefore, that God should leave man to be carried off by corruption, because it would be unfitting and unworthy of Himself.

Yet, true though this is, it is not the whole matter. As we have already noted, it was unthinkable that God, the Father of Truth, should go back upon His word regarding death in order to ensure our continued existence. He could not falsify Himself; what, then, was God to do? Was He to demand repentance from men for their transgression? You might say that that was worthy of God, and argue further that, as through the Transgression they became subject to corruption, so through repentance they might return to incorruption again. But repentance would not guard the Divine consistency, for, if death did not hold dominion over men, God would still remain untrue. Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning. Had it been a case of a trespass only, and not of a subsequent corruption, repentance would have been well enough; but when once transgression had begun men came under the power of the corruption proper to their nature and were bereft of the grace which belonged to them as creations in the Image of God. No, repentance could not meet the case. Who, save the Word of God Himself, Who also in the beginning had made all things out of nothing? His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father. ~St. Athanasius On the Incarnation p.32-33

At least in the mind of St. Athanasius there existed an element of satisfaction...


Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to death in place of all, and offered it to the Father. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, when He had fulfilled in His body that for which is was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men... It was by surrendering to death the body which He had taken, as an offering and sacrifice free from every stain, that He forthwith abolished death for His human brethren by the offering of the equivalent. For naturally, since the Word of God was above all, when He offered His own temple and bodily instrument as a substitute for the life of all, He fulfilled in death all that was required. ~ p. 35

Also in the mind of St. Athanasius there existed an element of substitution and atonement... it's all there.

There is some hair-splitting going on here which doesn't seem present in the mind of St. Athanasius. This isn't a case of this 'or' that but it seems to be a case of this 'and' that.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Fr. David on December 31, 2008, 02:42:05 AM
St. Gregory the Theologian is not talking about substitutionary atonement.
"Atonement" is just another word for "penal satisfaction".

I disagree, and I think that you, ironically, sound a lot like western Christian apologists who say the same thing: that is, that there is no other way to look at the work of the blood of Christ other than the fact that His blood was shed because of an internal conflict the Father had with Himself which compelled Him to sacrifice Himself to Himself just to fulfill a law that He made Himself.

My whole point is that atonement need not be equated with "penal satisfaction."  Please show me where the two must be synonymous, if I am indeed mistaken.  Atonement, rather, has always been a "making up for that which is lacking," as it were, a supplement to our shortcomings so that we can partake of the presence of God -- not because God couldn't stand for us to be in His presence or because He needs it, but because He's set it up this way for us to be cleansed from sin and death through Life and Love.  Expiation instead of propitiation, in other words.

He destroys death, as you say through you cardshark metaphor (which is an excellent one, by the way), but He also finishes His union of our nature with His through His three-day Pascha, which begins on Calvary.  Christ did die for us rather than instead of us--for we must also die with Him to live with Him--yet the Blood He gave when He died is what gives us the life necessary to die correctly.  Christ did reverse the deception, yet He also became sin so that we might become righteousness, thus reversing our nature's fallenness (or "atoning for it") through His life-giving Blood.

Let us not make the same mistake that many western Christians make and stress one aspect of salvation -- in our case, beguiling the beguiler -- to the exclusion of other, very real facets of our salvation.  Our nature is renewed -- atoned for, or brought up from its former, crippled state and reconciled to the Father -- by the Blood of Christ.  This is the supreme atonement to which all of the atonement language in the Old Testament alluded.  We can't get around that, nor should we simply dismiss it out of hand, as St. Athanasius shows us (thanks for the quote, ignatius). 
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 31, 2008, 12:56:43 PM
Yes, Christ died for us, not instead of us.

Christ in Hades reversed the deception that the Deceiver used on Adam & Eve.  There's no atonement.

DavidBryan posts such a thorough, articulate, cogent defense of his thesis, and this is all you two can say in rebuttal?  You may as well have not said anything at all. ;)

I'd like to see you offer a defense of your positions that even comes close to approaching the conviction, eloquence, and completeness DavidBryan has shown here.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: minasoliman on December 31, 2008, 01:58:55 PM
Yes, Christ died for us, not instead of us.

Christ in Hades reversed the deception that the Deceiver used on Adam & Eve.  There's no atonement.

DavidBryan posts such a thorough, articulate, cogent defense of his thesis, and this is all you two can say in rebuttal?  You may as well have not said anything at all. ;)

I'd like to see you offer a defense of your positions that even comes close to approaching the conviction, eloquence, and completeness DavidBryan has shown here.

Just to be fair, George and Ignatius are providing us with the same quality of posts, and might I say George, awesome analogy.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Fr. David on December 31, 2008, 03:29:02 PM
Just to be fair, George and Ignatius are providing us with the same quality of posts, and might I say George, awesome analogy.

Oh absolutely.  George's analogy is a good one, to be sure.  Excellent argumentation of his point.  Just let's not preclude all other aspects of the Cross in favoring the one he argues for.  That's just as bad as a satisfaction atonement model that excludes all other aspects of our redemption.

And thanks, PtA.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 31, 2008, 04:02:14 PM
Yes, Christ died for us, not instead of us.

Christ in Hades reversed the deception that the Deceiver used on Adam & Eve.  There's no atonement.

DavidBryan posts such a thorough, articulate, cogent defense of his thesis, and this is all you two can say in rebuttal?  You may as well have not said anything at all. ;)

I'd like to see you offer a defense of your positions that even comes close to approaching the conviction, eloquence, and completeness DavidBryan has shown here.

Just to be fair, George and Ignatius are providing us with the same quality of posts, and might I say George, awesome analogy.
Oh, sure! :)  I intended to limit my comments only to the two posts that I quoted from ialmisry and SolEX01.  I agree with you on the stuff from ozgeorge and ignatius.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: SolEX01 on December 31, 2008, 04:14:20 PM
Oh, sure! :)  I intended to limit my comments only to the two posts that I quoted from ialmisry and SolEX01.  I agree with you on the stuff from ozgeorge and ignatius.

Please take the "focus" off of me for all I did was summarize ozgeorge and nothing more.   ;)  Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 31, 2008, 05:06:06 PM
It seems to be true that the Church (= the Orthodox Church) has simply never shown any interest in the atonement theory. 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."

To my mind that speaks volumes of the importance (or lack of importance) attributed to the atonement theory in Orthodox patristics.

*
http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx



that is just circular reasoning: we don't have interest in it therefore we don't have interest in it

This is so, in a positive sense though.

Likwise we have no real urgent interest in other theological theories which have sprung up outside the parameters of the Church  - papal supremacy, papal infallibility, sola scriptura, once saved always saved. millennialism.....

As with the Atonement these matters have never really occupied the interior mind of the Church and that speaks volumes as to their level of importance within Orthodoxy.  When we have to engage them it is for external reasons and often self-defensive polemical ones.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 31, 2008, 05:13:04 PM
Oh, sure! :)  I intended to limit my comments only to the two posts that I quoted from ialmisry and SolEX01.  I agree with you on the stuff from ozgeorge and ignatius.

Please take the "focus" off of me for all I did was summarize ozgeorge and nothing more.   ;)  Thanks in advance.
Well, why didn't you say so?  Ozgeorge did such a good job of arguing his POV, though, that he really didn't need anyone to summarize him. ;)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on January 01, 2009, 12:07:49 AM
My whole point is that atonement need not be equated with "penal satisfaction."  Please show me where the two must be synonymous, if I am indeed mistaken.  Atonement, rather, has always been a "making up for that which is lacking," as it were, a supplement to our shortcomings so that we can partake of the presence of God -- not because God couldn't stand for us to be in His presence or because He needs it, but because He's set it up this way for us to be cleansed from sin and death through Life and Love.  Expiation instead of propitiation, in other words.
David, the original meaning of "atonement" is none of what you have described, and I actually have no problem with the original meaning of the word, however I do have a problem with how the word has come to be understood. Look in any dictionary and the first definition of "atonement" is "expiation" ie, "amends made for an injury or a wrong". This is evident from the the use of the verb "to atone".
The original meaning of the word "atonement" was actually "harmonising". As I understand, it was first used in the 16th century, and it has an English etymology, literally: "at one-ment" (to cause two or more things to be "at one"). This is an excellent description of our reconciliation to God. However this is not what the word "atonement" means now (as any dictionary will describe). It now means "  Amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong; expiation."  Where did this "alternate" meaning for a word which originally meant "harmonising" come from?

He destroys death, as you say through you cardshark metaphor (which is an excellent one, by the way), but He also finishes His union of our nature with His through His three-day Pascha, which begins on Calvary.  Christ did die for us rather than instead of us--for we must also die with Him to live with Him--yet the Blood He gave when He died is what gives us the life necessary to die correctly.  Christ did reverse the deception, yet He also became sin so that we might become righteousness, thus reversing our nature's fallenness (or "atoning for it") through His life-giving Blood.

Let us not make the same mistake that many western Christians make and stress one aspect of salvation -- in our case, beguiling the beguiler -- to the exclusion of other, very real facets of our salvation.  Our nature is renewed -- atoned for, or brought up from its former, crippled state and reconciled to the Father -- by the Blood of Christ.  This is the supreme atonement to which all of the atonement language in the Old Testament alluded.  We can't get around that, nor should we simply dismiss it out of hand, as St. Athanasius shows us (thanks for the quote, ignatius). 
I disagree with your definition of "atoning", and therefore I disagree with your understanding of what Christ's Blood has done for us. Yes, His Blood is the only source of Life for us, but It was not shed to make up what was lacking in our fallen state.
You can't drink water from a Rock unless you split it (Numbers 20:11). You can't share a loaf of bread unless it's broken open. You can't drink the Lifegiving Blood of Christ unless He is broken open. Christ was Crucified because the only way His Unfallen Body could die was to be murdered. This was the only way His Human Soul could enter Hades and destroy it. The Cross was the "price He had to pay" in order to undertake His Rescue Mission of us. It was the "sacrifice" He made in the same way that you might "sacrifice" yourself at work every day in order to feed your family. The main point which we seem to miss about the Old Testament Sacrifices is what it meant in an agrarian society. When an holocaust offering was made of one of your cattle, you had to give up something precious. When Abraham our Father in Faith was called to make a Sacrifice, he was asked to sacrifice the most precious thing he had- his only son Isaac. When the Passover Sacrifice was made, it was offered and then shared and eaten. So yes, the Old Testament Sacrifices were a precursor to Golgotha, but your understanding of them is incorrect.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on January 01, 2009, 12:36:51 AM
And just one more thing David: where in the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy is the word "atonement" used?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ialmisry on January 01, 2009, 01:02:26 AM
And just one more thing David: where in the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy is the word "atonement" used?

Better yet, where does the word appear before Tyndale, 1524?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on January 01, 2009, 02:43:12 AM
Better yet, where does the word appear before Tyndale, 1524?

Well apparently St. Athanasios (4th Century) meant to use this term which was invented in the 16th Century:
Also in the mind of St. Athanasius there existed an element of substitution and atonement... it's all there.

"It's all there" :D
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on January 01, 2009, 05:29:00 AM
David,
St. Gregory the Theologian is not talking about substitutionary atonement.
"Atonement" is just another word for "penal satisfaction".

Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.
YES YES YES -- your friend has atoned for your stupidity (in your analogy). And Christ has substituted for your sins (God made him who knew no sin to be sin) and atone (AS IN "make right", "fix" - NOT as in paying off an angry god); He healed you with his stripes.

GEORGE -- THAT IS ALL, I REPEAT, ALL, THAT WE ARE SAYING!!!!!!!!

It is something that in one form or another many of the Greek Fathers say. DON'T keep filtering it through some western construct of Reformed/Augustinian/Anslemian/protestant fundamentalist dogma that you feel compelled to resist/reject/rhetorically defeat - or your etymological dictionary definitions (browse your dictionary - words can have multiple meanings and subltleties -- unless you propose to do away with poetry!)

Take a step back, take a deep breath -- we are saying close to (although not quite) the came thing (give us a break because I know you are charitable at heart!!!!)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on January 01, 2009, 05:36:20 AM
David,
St. Gregory the Theologian is not talking about substitutionary atonement.
"Atonement" is just another word for "penal satisfaction".

Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.
Yes, Christ died for us, not instead of us.

no dah, it's ransom. That is not what David and I are talking about in terms of atonement (at-one-ment; making right; fixing; restoring; repairing)

NOW HERE THIS ALL YE ORTHODOX ---- ATONEMENT can be seen in other-than Anselmian, Reformed, protestant-fudamentalist, Anslemian dogma. SEE MY PARENTHESIS ABOVE!!!!!

Pardon my shouting, but i don't know how else to get y'all (yinz, yous, yous guys, your) attention,
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: BrotherAidan on January 01, 2009, 05:45:08 AM
It seems to be true that the Church (= the Orthodox Church) has simply never shown any interest in the atonement theory. 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."

To my mind that speaks volumes of the importance (or lack of importance) attributed to the atonement theory in Orthodox patristics.

*
http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx



that is just circular reasoning: we don't have interest in it therefore we don't have interest in it

This is so, in a positive sense though.

Likwise we have no real urgent interest in other theological theories which have sprung up outside the parameters of the Church  - papal supremacy, papal infallibility, sola scriptura, once saved always saved. millennialism.....

As with the Atonement these matters have never really occupied the interior mind of the Church and that speaks volumes as to their level of importance within Orthodoxy.  When we have to engage them it is for external reasons and often self-defensive polemical ones.

Please pardon my im-politeness in asking this question: are you a convert? Because you seem to filter Orthodox dogma through a lens of "everything must be contra-everything-I-was-taught-as-a-protestant filter and you seem incapable of coming at the question from another angle.

Or, again. at the risk of being uncharitable, perhaps you are one of those cradle Orthodox who has been so steeped in protestant strawmen and caricatures that it is nearly impossible for you to grasp subtleties in anything that even hints of Western theology.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on January 01, 2009, 05:57:00 AM
And just one more thing David: where in the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy is the word "atonement" used?

Better yet, where does the word appear before Tyndale, 1524?
Even better yet, why is this even important?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 01, 2009, 06:17:02 AM
that is just circular reasoning: we don't have interest in it therefore we don't have interest in it

This is so, in a positive sense though.

Likwise we have no real urgent interest in other theological theories which have sprung up outside the parameters of the Church  - papal supremacy, papal infallibility, sola scriptura, once saved always saved. millennialism.....

As with the Atonement these matters have never really occupied the interior mind of the Church and that speaks volumes as to their level of importance within Orthodoxy.  When we have to engage them it is for external reasons and often self-defensive polemical ones.

Quote
Please pardon my im-politeness in asking this question: are you a convert? Because you seem to filter Orthodox dogma through a lens of "everything must be contra-everything-I-was-taught-as-a-protestant filter and you seem incapable of coming at the question from another angle.

Or, again. at the risk of being uncharitable, perhaps you are one of those cradle Orthodox who has been so steeped in protestant strawmen and caricatures that it is nearly impossible for you to grasp subtleties in anything that even hints of Western theology.
If you frequent Orthodox lists such as Orthodox-Forum you will find that it is (usually recent) Protestants converts who sometimes try to push atonement theories onto the Orthodox and get quite upset by the Orthodox resistance and lack of interest.   Atonement has been such a major plank in their former understanding of salvation that, even though they have entered Orthodoxy, they find it hard to contemplate life without some doctrine of the atonement.

Quote
it is nearly impossible for you to grasp subtleties in anything that even hints of Western theology.
Fine!   But really, don't expect the Orthodox to bother to grasp the subtleties of what passes for Western theology - the whole predestination and TULIP teaching, the endless bickering about grace and works..... the papal dogmas of supremacy and infallibility, of purgatory and indulgences..... etc.

It is recent Protestant and Catholic converts to the Orthodox faith who may wish to engage you in a discussion of these doctrines.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 01, 2009, 06:25:53 AM
Sacred scripture tells us:


"It  is  a  holy  and  pious thing  that atonement 
be  made  for the  dead,  that  they  might be  delivered 
from their  sin."
   

~ Macc  12:46

I'd like to comment if I may, for those who don't know the context of this atonement.

What had happened was that many of the dead Jewish soldiers were found to have small idols in their clothing.  They had been worshipping idols and the text says that this idolatry is the reason God allowed them to be slain in battle.

So the surviving soldiers began to offer profound prayers that this dreadful sin would be forgiven and Judas Maccabeus decided to send a large quanity of silver to the Jerusalem temple for prayers for the forgivness of these idolators.

The whole incident substantiates not just prayers for the dead but the hope and belief that sin, even very serious sin (mortal sin if you will), may be forgiven by God even after death.

2 Macc 12: 39-46
King James Version
http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/Kjv2Mac.html

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on January 01, 2009, 11:56:14 AM
Even better yet, why is this even important?
Because Scripture and Tradition existed for one and a half milennia before the word "atonement" was invented by a Protestant Reformer.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ignatius on January 01, 2009, 11:59:14 PM
Could someone please example to me how this should be interpreted...

His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.

This appears to suggest a two-part action... restoration of our incorruption 'and' to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. Christ the Word was 'able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father'. This appears to suggest estrangement between mankind and the Father which Christ restored. We can't simply ignore the second part of which St. Athanasius is speaking and wrap everything into the restoration of our incorruption as if there was no Transgression which was the breaking of the Father's Commandment.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on January 02, 2009, 12:40:10 AM
Could someone please example to me how this should be interpreted...

His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.

This appears to suggest a two-part action... restoration of our incorruption 'and' to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. Christ the Word was 'able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father'. This appears to suggest estrangement between mankind and the Father which Christ restored. We can't simply ignore the second part of which St. Athanasius is speaking and wrap everything into the restoration of our incorruption as if there was no Transgression which was the breaking of the Father's Commandment.
You say this excerpt is from one of St. Athanasius's works.  Could you tell us which one?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 02, 2009, 12:53:19 AM
Here is a brief blog entry by Charles Cameron who is, I think, a Protestrant.  I wonder how people would approve of it or not?

Athanasius on the Atonement

http://charlescameron.wordpress.com/2007/04/01/athanasius-on-the-atonement/

"Are there two unreconciled theories of the atonement in Athanasius?

"Do the writings of Athanasius contain two theories of the atonement - a ‘physical’ theory which teaches that, through Christ’s assumption of humanity, mankind is clothed in the incorruption and indestructibility that is inherent in Christ the Word and a ‘legal’ theory which maintains that the heart of the Gospel lies in Christ’s payment of the debt owed to God by humanity?........."

----

HEALTH, HAPPINESS
LOVE, SUCCESS, SALVATION
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Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ignatius on January 02, 2009, 12:53:46 AM
One of the big questions we have to ask ourselves is... In What Sense is Christ "Made to Be Sin for Us"?

Christ knew no sin, but he was made sin for us. This occurred by the imputation of our sin to him. We might argue the key text is 2 Corinthians 5:21 "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." It was central to the Father's justification teaching.

Christ was not a sinner, but a victim for sinners, according to St. Cyril of Alexandria: "Whe do not say that Christ became a sinner, far from it, but being righteous (or rather righteousness, because he did not know sin at all), the Father made him a victim for the sins of the world" (Letter 41.10). ~FC 76:174: ACCS NT 7:252

Christ knew no sin either inwardly or outwardly, either in intention or action. Yet he was voluntarily made to be sin for us by the imputation of our sin to him.

John Chrysostom explained: "God allowed his Son to suffer as if a condemned sinner, so that we might be delivered from the penalty of our sins. This is God's righteousness, that we are not justified by works (for then they would have to be perfect, which is impossible), but by grace, in which case all our sin is removed" (Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians 11:5). ~NPNF 1 12:334; ACCS NT 7:252

The Fathers teach that Christ was made an offering for our sins. "It was only because all flesh was subject to sin that he was made sin for us. In view of the fact that he was made an offering for sins, it is not wrong for him to be said to have been made 'sin,' because in the law the sacrifice which was offered for sins used to be called a 'sin.' After his death on the cross Christ descended to hell, because it was death, working through sin, which gave hell its power. Christ defeated death by his death, and brought such benefit to sinners that now death cannot hold those who are marked with the sign of the cross" (Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Paul's Epistles). ~CSEL 81:238; ACCS NT 7:252

I deeply appreciate the holistic teaching which the Orthodox offer as a deeper understanding of the Gospel message but we must recognize that the heart of the gospel idea of uprighting (i.e. justification) cannot be penetrated without pursuing 'carefully' the metaphor of a courtroom verdict. Many crucial biblical terms describing our salvation come directly out of the setting of the court. Justification is such a term. It belongs with other judicial terms like judge, pardon, sentence, and verdict. These are somtimes called forensic or juridical metaphors and they are throughout the New Testament. I have to believe that there was a reason the Holy Spirit allowed these terms to be present in the Sacred Text.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Asteriktos on January 02, 2009, 12:54:02 AM
Quote
You say this excerpt is from one of St. Athanasius's works.  Could you tell us which one?

It's from On the Incarnation, 7 (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.vii.ii.vii.html). Though it might have been hard to locate if you we're using CCEL as there is a different translation there:

"For His it was once more both to bring the corruptible to incorruption, and to maintain intact the just claim of the Father upon all. For being Word of the Father, and above all, He alone of natural fitness was both able to recreate everything, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be ambassador for all with the Father."
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ignatius on January 02, 2009, 12:59:35 AM
Could someone please example to me how this should be interpreted...

His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.

This appears to suggest a two-part action... restoration of our incorruption 'and' to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. Christ the Word was 'able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father'. This appears to suggest estrangement between mankind and the Father which Christ restored. We can't simply ignore the second part of which St. Athanasius is speaking and wrap everything into the restoration of our incorruption as if there was no Transgression which was the breaking of the Father's Commandment.
You say this excerpt is from one of St. Athanasius's works.  Could you tell us which one?

I'm sorry... On the Incarnation p. 35 St. Vladimir's Seminary Press
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Fr. David on January 05, 2009, 12:51:13 AM
For all who've been following this:

I do intend to reply to some of the more recent posts, but my reply may be a few days in coming; we're starting back up in our school district on Tuesday (it WOULD be on the feast of Theophany, of course) and we have to gear up for semester finals and grades, so things will be rather hectic.

Just a note; hope to respond soon.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on January 05, 2009, 03:16:25 AM
Is anybody able to provide any cogent and scholarly Orthodox work which supports the teaching of substitutionary atonement as the consensus teaching of the Fathers and which is able to show that it has been a consistent teaching through the history of the Church? 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."  This is an undeniable fact - the Orthodox have really no interest in substitutionary atonement, and won't be drawn onto a doctrine whiuch has been absent from the tradition of the Church since the beginning.

The make or break point for this doctrine is  - somebody would need to provide convincing evidence that the Orthodox have taught substitutionary atonement throught the centuries.

Many thanks.

*  http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx


Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ignatius on January 05, 2009, 10:04:52 AM
Is anybody able to provide any cogent and scholarly Orthodox work which supports the teaching of substitutionary atonement as the consensus teaching of the Fathers and which is able to show that it has been a consistent teaching through the history of the Church? 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."  This is an undeniable fact - the Orthodox have really no interest in substitutionary atonement, and won't be drawn onto a doctrine whiuch has been absent from the tradition of the Church since the beginning.

The make or break point for this doctrine is  - somebody would need to provide convincing evidence that the Orthodox have taught substitutionary atonement throught the centuries.

Many thanks.

*  http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx




Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

I think it's pretty clear that the Saints saw our Lord as 'a sacrifice' and 'an offering' and that 'He was made sin for us' but I'm not sure what you and ozgeorge mean when you say the the Orthodox never had a Substituionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction Theory?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Papist on January 05, 2009, 01:42:28 PM
MODERATION:
This topic has been split off from the thread :
"Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory..."  (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11389.0.html)




Even better yet, why is this even important?
Because Scripture and Tradition existed for one and a half milennia before the word "atonement" was invented by a Protestant Reformer.
Scripture and Tradition existed before the word Trinity was invented. But that does not mean that the same doctrine of the Trinity did not already  substantially exist in Scripture and Tradition.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Papist on January 05, 2009, 01:43:40 PM
Is anybody able to provide any cogent and scholarly Orthodox work which supports the teaching of substitutionary atonement as the consensus teaching of the Fathers and which is able to show that it has been a consistent teaching through the history of the Church? 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."  This is an undeniable fact - the Orthodox have really no interest in substitutionary atonement, and won't be drawn onto a doctrine whiuch has been absent from the tradition of the Church since the beginning.

The make or break point for this doctrine is  - somebody would need to provide convincing evidence that the Orthodox have taught substitutionary atonement throught the centuries.

Many thanks.

*  http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx




Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

I think it's pretty clear that the Saints saw our Lord as 'a sacrifice' and 'an offering' and that 'He was made sin for us' but I'm not sure what you and ozgeorge mean when you say the the Orthodox never had a Substituionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction Theory?
I think it would be a good thing if people would starte differentiating between the Calvinist view of Atonement and the Catholic One.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ignatius on January 05, 2009, 01:46:41 PM
Is anybody able to provide any cogent and scholarly Orthodox work which supports the teaching of substitutionary atonement as the consensus teaching of the Fathers and which is able to show that it has been a consistent teaching through the history of the Church? 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."  This is an undeniable fact - the Orthodox have really no interest in substitutionary atonement, and won't be drawn onto a doctrine whiuch has been absent from the tradition of the Church since the beginning.

The make or break point for this doctrine is  - somebody would need to provide convincing evidence that the Orthodox have taught substitutionary atonement throught the centuries.

Many thanks.

*  http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx




Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

I think it's pretty clear that the Saints saw our Lord as 'a sacrifice' and 'an offering' and that 'He was made sin for us' but I'm not sure what you and ozgeorge mean when you say the the Orthodox never had a Substituionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction Theory?
I think it would be a good thing if people would starte differentiating between the Calvinist view of Atonement and the Catholic One.

Please offer us the Catholic understanding if you don't mind.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Papist on January 05, 2009, 05:43:06 PM
Is anybody able to provide any cogent and scholarly Orthodox work which supports the teaching of substitutionary atonement as the consensus teaching of the Fathers and which is able to show that it has been a consistent teaching through the history of the Church? 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."  This is an undeniable fact - the Orthodox have really no interest in substitutionary atonement, and won't be drawn onto a doctrine whiuch has been absent from the tradition of the Church since the beginning.

The make or break point for this doctrine is  - somebody would need to provide convincing evidence that the Orthodox have taught substitutionary atonement throught the centuries.

Many thanks.

*  http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx




Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

I think it's pretty clear that the Saints saw our Lord as 'a sacrifice' and 'an offering' and that 'He was made sin for us' but I'm not sure what you and ozgeorge mean when you say the the Orthodox never had a Substituionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction Theory?
I think it would be a good thing if people would starte differentiating between the Calvinist view of Atonement and the Catholic One.

Please offer us the Catholic understanding if you don't mind.
Certainly. Calvinists believe that Christ literally experienced the identical punishment that we deserve as sinners. Because we are are deserving of both death and hell, then that is exactly what Christ experienced. Some of the reformers even argued that Christ experienced the pains and damnation of Hell between his death and resurrection. Catholics, on the other hand, do not take such a legalistic approach. Yes, man had separated himself from God by sin but Christ did not experience damnation for us vicariously. Rather, Christ did something different, something above the law. He became one of us and as one of us took humanity with him back to God. It was in our pride that we elevated ourselves and believed that we could walk away from God and exhault our will above his. Because we, in are broken and fallen state, could not perfectly submit our will to God again, the Logos took on our flesh and did so as one of us. The second Adam undid what the first did. He submitted his will perfectly and completely to God the Father, so much so, that he did it to the point of death. There was no flaw in the submission of will because he was sinless. The spotless lamb sacrificed his entire will, again to the point of death (not my will but yours be done). As the perfect representative of humanity, Jesus offered back to the Father the perfect sacrifice of submission that reestablished our relationship with him.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on January 05, 2009, 06:10:46 PM
Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

"Substitutionary Atonement" means that basically, Christ died "in our place" (ie "was substituted for us") in order to make "Atonement" (whatever that means, since the meaning has changed over time). While the various meanings of "Atonement" is problematic, the idea that Christ died "in our place" or "instead of us" is wrong. He died for us, not instead of us.

"Penal Satisfaction" basically means that a debt (or penalty) is owed to God for sin, (somewhat like a parking fine) which needs to be paid so that the sin can be forgiven. The idea is that Christ paid the fine for us (because we were unable to).
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ignatius on January 05, 2009, 06:11:03 PM

Certainly. Calvinists believe that Christ literally experienced the identical punishment that we deserve as sinners. Because we are are deserving of both death and hell, then that is exactly what Christ experienced. Some of the reformers even argued that Christ experienced the pains and damnation of Hell between his death and resurrection. Catholics, on the other hand, do not take such a legalistic approach. Yes, man had separated himself from God by sin but Christ did not experience damnation for us vicariously. Rather, Christ did something different, something above the law. He became one of us and as one of us took humanity with him back to God. It was in our pride that we elevated ourselves and believed that we could walk away from God and exhault our will above his. Because we, in are broken and fallen state, could not perfectly submit our will to God again, the Logos took on our flesh and did so as one of us. The second Adam undid what the first did. He submitted his will perfectly and completely to God the Father, so much so, that he did it to the point of death. There was no flaw in the submission of will because he was sinless. The spotless lamb sacrificed his entire will, again to the point of death (not my will but yours be done). As the perfect representative of humanity, Jesus offered back to the Father the perfect sacrifice of submission that reestablished our relationship with him.

So how did this develop from St. Athanasius' On the Incarnation? Have you ever read On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ignatius on January 05, 2009, 06:15:59 PM
Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

"Substitutionary Atonement" means that basically, Christ died "in our place" (ie "was substituted for us") in order to make "Atonement" (whatever that means, since the meaning has changed over time). While the various meanings of "Atonement" is problematic, the idea that Christ died "in our place" or "instead of us" is wrong. He died for us, not instead of us.

"Penal Satisfaction" basically means that a debt (or penalty) is owed to God for sin, (somewhat like a parking fine) which needs to be paid so that the sin can be forgiven. The idea is that Christ paid the fine for us (because we were unable to).

Okay, understanding, which I don't, could you unpack my post:

One of the big questions we have to ask ourselves is... In What Sense is Christ "Made to Be Sin for Us"?

Christ knew no sin, but he was made sin for us. This occurred by the imputation of our sin to him. We might argue the key text is 2 Corinthians 5:21 "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." It was central to the Father's justification teaching.

Christ was not a sinner, but a victim for sinners, according to St. Cyril of Alexandria: "Whe do not say that Christ became a sinner, far from it, but being righteous (or rather righteousness, because he did not know sin at all), the Father made him a victim for the sins of the world" (Letter 41.10). ~FC 76:174: ACCS NT 7:252

Christ knew no sin either inwardly or outwardly, either in intention or action. Yet he was voluntarily made to be sin for us by the imputation of our sin to him.

John Chrysostom explained: "God allowed his Son to suffer as if a condemned sinner, so that we might be delivered from the penalty of our sins. This is God's righteousness, that we are not justified by works (for then they would have to be perfect, which is impossible), but by grace, in which case all our sin is removed" (Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians 11:5). ~NPNF 1 12:334; ACCS NT 7:252

The Fathers teach that Christ was made an offering for our sins. "It was only because all flesh was subject to sin that he was made sin for us. In view of the fact that he was made an offering for sins, it is not wrong for him to be said to have been made 'sin,' because in the law the sacrifice which was offered for sins used to be called a 'sin.' After his death on the cross Christ descended to hell, because it was death, working through sin, which gave hell its power. Christ defeated death by his death, and brought such benefit to sinners that now death cannot hold those who are marked with the sign of the cross" (Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Paul's Epistles). ~CSEL 81:238; ACCS NT 7:252

I deeply appreciate the holistic teaching which the Orthodox offer as a deeper understanding of the Gospel message but we must recognize that the heart of the gospel idea of uprighting (i.e. justification) cannot be penetrated without pursuing 'carefully' the metaphor of a courtroom verdict. Many crucial biblical terms describing our salvation come directly out of the setting of the court. Justification is such a term. It belongs with other judicial terms like judge, pardon, sentence, and verdict. These are somtimes called forensic or juridical metaphors and they are throughout the New Testament. I have to believe that there was a reason the Holy Spirit allowed these terms to be present in the Sacred Text.

I'm just not getting the distinction. Thanks.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on January 05, 2009, 06:41:17 PM
One of the big questions we have to ask ourselves is... In What Sense is Christ "Made to Be Sin for Us"?
I've answered it on this thread. Some people just don't like my answer.

If you frequent Orthodox lists such as Orthodox-Forum you will find that it is (usually recent) Protestants converts who sometimes try to push atonement theories onto the Orthodox and get quite upset by the Orthodox resistance and lack of interest.   Atonement has been such a major plank in their former understanding of salvation that, even though they have entered Orthodoxy, they find it hard to contemplate life without some doctrine of the atonement.
Yep.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Jakub on January 06, 2009, 12:18:56 AM
Atonement...


1 Exodus 30

10 And Aaron shall pray upon the horns thereof once a year, with the blood of that which was offered for sin, and shall make atonement upon it in your generations. It shall be most holy to the Lord.

2 Leviticus 5

13 Praying for him and making atonement: but the part that is left, he himself shall have for a gift.

3 Leviticus 6

30 For the victim that is slain for sin, the blood of which is carried into the tabernacle of the testimony to make atonement in the sanctuary, shall not be eaten, but shall be burnt with fire.

4 Leviticus 16

27 But the calf and the buck goat, that were sacrificed for sin, and whose blood was carried into the sanctuary, to accomplish the atonement, they shall carry forth without the camp, and shall burn with fire, their skins and their flesh, and their dung:

5 Leviticus 16

32 And the priest that is anointed, and whose hands are consecrated to do the office of the priesthood in his father's stead, shall make atonement; and he shall be vested with the linen robe and the holy vestments,

6 Leviticus 17

11 Because the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you, that you may make atonement with it upon the altar for your souls, and the blood may be for an expiation of the soul.

7 Leviticus 23

27 Upon the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the day of atonement, it shall be most solemn, and shall be called holy: and you shall afflict your souls on that day, and shall offer a holocaust to the Lord.

8 Numbers 25

13 And the covenant of the priesthood for ever shall be both to him and his seed, because he hath been zealous for his God, and hath made atonement for the wickedness of the children of Israel.

9 Numbers 28

22 And one buck goat for sin, to make atonement for you,

10 2 Kings 21

3 David therefore said to the Gabaonites: What shall I do for you? and what shall be the atonement for you, that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord?

11 2 Esdras 10

33 For the leaves of proposition, and for the continual sacrifice, and for a continual holocaust on the sabbaths, on the new moons, on the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offering: that atonement might be made for Israel, and for every use of the house of our God.

12 Isaias 43

3 For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I have given Egypt for thy atonement, Ethiopia and Saba for thee.

13 Ezechiel 45

15 And one ram out of a flock of two hundred, of those that Israel feedeth for sacrifice, and for holocausts, and for peace offerings, to make atonement for them, saith the Lord God.

14 Malachias 2

13 And this again have you done, you have covered the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and bellowing, so that I have no more a regard to sacrifice, neither do I accept any atonement at your hands.

14 occurrences.

But of course it's the Douay Rheims Old Testament...

 
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Jakub on January 06, 2009, 12:39:44 AM
And this...

1. Leviticus
The Book of Leviticus, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... the Lord. 4 And he shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt-offering as a thing acceptable for him, to make atonement for him. 5 And they shall slay the calf before the Lord; and the sons of Aaron the priests shall bring the ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 102  -  24 Oct 2008  -  195k
2. Numbers
The Book of Numbers, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... to make satisfaction for his trespass to him, the trespass-offering paid to the Lord shall be for the priest, besides the ram of atonement, by which he shall make atonement with it for him. 9 And every first-fruits in all the sanctified things among the children ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 36  -  24 Oct 2008  -  272k
3. Jezekiel
The Book of Jezekiel, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... horns of the altar, and upon the four corners of the propitiatory, and upon the base round about, and they shall make atonement for it. 21 And they shall take the calf of the sin-offering, and it shall be consumed by fire in the separate ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 20  -  24 Oct 2008  -  304k
4. Exodus
The Book of Exodus, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... fire, nor a sacrifice; and thou shalt not pour a drink-offering upon it. 10 And once in the year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns, he shall purge it with the blood of purification for their generations: it is most holy to the Lord ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 8  -  24 Oct 2008  -  250k
5. Sirach
The Book of Sirach, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... father honour over the children, and hath confirmed the authority of the mother over the sons. 3 Whoso honoureth his father maketh an atonement for his sins: 4 And he that honoureth his mother is as one that layeth up treasure. 5 Whoso honoureth his father ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  24 Oct 2008  -  253k
6. Chronicles I
The Book of First Chronicles, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... the altar of whole-burnt-offerings, and on the altar of incense, for all the ministry in the holy of holies, and to make atonement for Israel, according to all things that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. 50 And these are the sons of Aaron ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  24 Oct 2008  -  180k
7. Ambacum
The Book of Ambacum, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... mound, and take possession of it. 11 Then shall he change his spirit, and he shall pass through, and make an atonement, saying, This strength belongs to my god. 12 Art not thou from the beginning, O Lord God, my Holy ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 3  -  24 Oct 2008  -  20k
8. Nehemiah
The Book of Nehemiah, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... of the sabbaths, of the new moon, for the feast, and for the holy things, and the sin-offerings, to make atonement for Israel, and for the works of the house of our God. 34 And we cast lots for the office of wood-bearing ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 3  -  24 Oct 2008  -  88k
9. Kings II
The Book of Second Kings, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... Israel and Juda.) 3 And David said to the Gabaonites, What shall I do to you? and wherewithal shall I make atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord? 4 And the Gabaonites said to him, We have no question about ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 2  -  24 Oct 2008  -  165k
10. Kings I
The Book of First Kings, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... away empty, but by all means render to it an offering for the plague; and then shall ye be healed, and an atonement shall be made for you: should not his hand be thus stayed from off you? 4 And they say, What is ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 2  -  24 Oct 2008  -  187k
11. Daniel
The Book of Daniel, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... holy city, for sin to be ended, and to seal up transgressions, and to blot out the iniquities, and to make atonement for iniquities, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal the vision and the prophet, and to anoint the Most ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 2  -  24 Oct 2008  -  123k
12. Chronicles II
The Book of Second Chronicles, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... hands upon them. 24 And the priests slew them, and offered their blood as a propitiation on the altar; and they made atonement for all Israel: for the king said, The whole-burnt-offering, and the sin-offering are for all Israel. 25 And he stationed ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 2  -  27 Nov 2008  -  206k
13. Psalms
The Book of Psalms, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... And they provoked him with their devices; 29 and destruction, was multiplied among them. 30 Then Phinees stood up, and made atonement: and the plague ceased. 31 And it was counted to him for righteousness, to all generations for ever. 32 They ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 2  -  24 Oct 2008  -  429k
14. II Maccabees
The Book of Two Maccabees, from the English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible Online. Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851
... to Heliodorus by the Jews, offered a sacrifice for the health of the man. 33 Now as the high priest was making an atonement, the same young men in the same clothing appeared and stood beside Heliodorus, saying, Give Onias the high priest great thanks ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 2  -  24 Oct 2008  -  134k
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on January 06, 2009, 12:51:30 AM
Jakub,
The word translated as "atonement" here is "ilasmos", it means
"reconciliation/to make acceptable"
So if that's what you mean by "atonement" (the word invented in the 16th century) then fine. In fact, that was the original meaning of the word (literally "at one-ment", i.e., to cause two things to be "at one" or "in harmony").
But here's how the Webster Dictionary defines "atonement" today:

Quote
atone·ment
Pronunciation:
    \ə-ˈtōn-mənt\
Function:
    noun
Date:
    1513

1: obsolete : reconciliation
2: the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ
3: reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction
4Christian Science : the exemplifying of human oneness with God

(Source) (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atonement)

See the problem? The original meaning of the word "atonement" which was invented to translate "ilasmos" into English is now obsolete, and it now means "reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction"

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Jakub on January 06, 2009, 01:40:08 AM
"reparation for an offense or injury"... my view also

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on January 06, 2009, 01:52:41 AM
Is anybody able to provide any cogent and scholarly Orthodox work which supports the teaching of substitutionary atonement as the consensus teaching of the Fathers and which is able to show that it has been a consistent teaching through the history of the Church? 

As noted by the Protestant scholar Jones *, in Orthodoxy  "discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation."  This is an undeniable fact - the Orthodox have really no interest in substitutionary atonement, and won't be drawn onto a doctrine whiuch has been absent from the tradition of the Church since the beginning.

The make or break point for this doctrine is  - somebody would need to provide convincing evidence that the Orthodox have taught substitutionary atonement throught the centuries.

Many thanks.

*  http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx



Is this even the point?  Is someone actually trying to assert that substitutionary atonement theory is the definitive teaching of the Church, or that the teaching is merely a permitted theologumen based on a reading of the Gospel and Epistles?  If we're arguing that it is merely a permitted concept, then you would have to argue against it NOT that it's not the consensus teaching of the Church but that the Church has formally condemned the teaching as heresy.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on January 06, 2009, 04:33:46 AM
"reparation for an offense or injury"... my view also
I know. And I know this is the current Roman Catholic and Protestant understanding of "atonement". It's just not the view of the Eastern Fathers of the Orthodox Church, nor does it stand up to Biblical analysis, nor does it stand up to linguistics.
The Biblical word "ilasmos" does not mean "reparation for an offense or injury". It's meaning is more along the lines of "to reconcile"/"to make peace"/"to make acceptable (to God through sanctification)". The King James originally translated the word "ilasmos" as "reconciliation". For example, Hebrews 2:17 in the original Koine reads:
Quote
"οθεν ωφειλεν κατα παντα τοις αδελφοις ομοιωθηναι ινα ελεημων γενηται και πιστος αρχιερευς τα προς τον θεον εις το ιλασκεσθαι τας αμαρτιας του λαου"
Whatever "ilasmos" means, the words in bold above ("eis to ilaskesthai tas amartias tou laou"), mean something along the lines of "that He might ilasmos-ize the sins (literally "missings of the mark"/"failures") of the people."

The King James originally translated this verse as:
Quote
"Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people."
The New King James translates this as:
Quote
"Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."
The New International Version translates it as:
Quote
"For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people."
See the evolution? Originally the word "atonement" coined by William Tyndale to translate "ilasmos" meant "to reconcile", "to cause two things to be at one" (literally "at one-ment"). The original KJV had the same meaning by translating the word "ilasmos" as "reconciliation". As time passed, this original meaning of "at one-ment", meaning "reconciliation" began to change, so that its original meaning is now obsolete as noted in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of the English Language:
Quote
atone·ment
Pronunciation:
    \ə-ˈtōn-mənt\
Function:
    noun
Date:
    1513

1: obsolete : reconciliation

2: the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ
3: reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction
4Christian Science : the exemplifying of human oneness with God
(Source) (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atonement)
So, the original meaning of the word "atonement" came to mean what it does today: "reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction"
But this isn't what the word "atonement" was originally coined to mean when it was invented to translate the Biblical word "ilasmos".

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ignatius on January 06, 2009, 05:21:08 PM
One of the big questions we have to ask ourselves is... In What Sense is Christ "Made to Be Sin for Us"?
I've answered it on this thread. Some people just don't like my answer.

Could you just give me the post # then and I'll find it myself? Thanks.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Jakub on January 06, 2009, 09:59:03 PM
From the Rheims...


17 Wherefore it behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful priest before God, that he might be a propitiation for the sins of the people.

I understand your point...
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on January 07, 2009, 07:00:03 PM
I understand your point...

Seriously, you have no idea how much that means to me Jakub. Thank you.
I honestly don't care if people disagree with me and can explain why they do, but to have what I say understood and to have the fact that I'm understood shown by means of a recapitulation means more to me than being right.
Again, thanks.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Justinian on January 11, 2009, 12:19:21 AM
I may have this wrong so bear with me...

What you are saying is that the empahsis of the Orthodox position is of the game itself, that Christ is breaking us away from our hand with the devil but not only that, defeats the devil at his own game. The oppsite of course, and perhaps what you are arguing against is the emphasis ont he debt we owe in the frst place rather then our involvement in the game.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ignatius on January 16, 2009, 10:56:46 AM
I may have this wrong so bear with me...

What you are saying is that the empahsis of the Orthodox position is of the game itself, that Christ is breaking us away from our hand with the devil but not only that, defeats the devil at his own game. The oppsite of course, and perhaps what you are arguing against is the emphasis ont he debt we owe in the frst place rather then our involvement in the game.

I believe what Orthodoxy is ultimately saying is that the 'true' belief is simply 'deeper' than such a crude theory.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Fr. David on January 16, 2009, 04:44:33 PM
My whole point is that atonement need not be equated with "penal satisfaction."  Please show me where the two must be synonymous, if I am indeed mistaken.  Atonement, rather, has always been a "making up for that which is lacking," as it were, a supplement to our shortcomings so that we can partake of the presence of God -- not because God couldn't stand for us to be in His presence or because He needs it, but because He's set it up this way for us to be cleansed from sin and death through Life and Love.  Expiation instead of propitiation, in other words.
David, the original meaning of "atonement" is none of what you have described, and I actually have no problem with the original meaning of the word, however I do have a problem with how the word has come to be understood. Look in any dictionary and the first definition of "atonement" is "expiation" ie, "amends made for an injury or a wrong". This is evident from the the use of the verb "to atone".
The original meaning of the word "atonement" was actually "harmonising". As I understand, it was first used in the 16th century, and it has an English etymology, literally: "at one-ment" (to cause two or more things to be "at one"). This is an excellent description of our reconciliation to God. However this is not what the word "atonement" means now (as any dictionary will describe). It now means "  Amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong; expiation."  Where did this "alternate" meaning for a word which originally meant "harmonising" come from?

So, after many days and much thinking about your points, I think I have two things to ask. 

Are you you, in fact, saying that the word atonement is not so much what you have an issue with as much as what it has come to be interpreted to mean?  Because if this is the case, I think we're much closer than you may be giving me credit for (and, in fact, we may be on the same page).  I in no way think that "substitutionary atonement" means that Christ was making "amends or reparation" to the Father or anyone else.  So I agree that the current, largely western definition of the word is wrong.  Ιλασμος is most definitely better translated as "reconciliation," hence my words above that Christ is "making up for that which is lacking" in our fallen nature, thus harmonizing it with His Father.  I know you don't like the "making up for that which is lacking" language, but bear with me, please.  What I mean is this: The very fact that our human nature was not harmonized -- or ιλασμος-ized, as you put it -- with God is itself what I mean when I refer to "what was lacking," seeing as we speak of αμαρτια as an ontological "missing of the mark," or "shortcoming" instead of a legal transgression of a moral code that somehow needed to be rectified.  This being the case, Christ thus recapitulated our human nature by dying and rising again with it, for our benefit, because our own deaths would have been insufficient to recapitulate anything, in and of themselves.  Thus, a substitution for us moribund creatures in order to reconcile and "harmonize" (or "atone") said creatures with the Father.

Secondly, is it really necessary to insist that a word be jettisoned or pushed aside because of a prominent, contemporary definition?  If the word for ιλασμος -- "atonement" -- has undergone a change in commonly accepted meaning today, how much more should we hold suspect the word for, say, αναμνησιν -- commonly translated as "memory" or "remembrance" in Lk. 22:19?  Merriam Webster defines the words thus:

Quote from: Merriam Webster
    mem·o·ry
Pronunciation:
    \ˈmem-rē, ˈme-mə-\
Function:
    noun
Inflected Form(s):
    plural mem·o·ries
Etymology:
    Middle English memorie, from Anglo-French memoire, memorie, from Latin memoria, from memor mindful; akin to Old English gemimor well-known, Greek mermēra care, Sanskrit smarati he remembers
Date:
    14th century

1 a: the power or process of reproducing or recalling what has been learned and retained especially through associative mechanisms b: the store of things learned and retained from an organism's activity or experience as evidenced by modification of structure or behavior or by recall and recognition2 a: commemorative remembrance <erected a statue in memory of the hero> b: the fact or condition of being remembered <days of recent memory>3 a: a particular act of recall or recollection b: an image or impression of one that is remembered <fond memories of her youth> c: the time within which past events can be or are remembered <within the memory of living men>4 a: a device (as a chip) or a component of a device in which information especially for a computer can be inserted and stored and from which it may be extracted when wanted ; especially : ram b: capacity for storing information <512 megabytes of memory>5: a capacity for showing effects as the result of past treatment or for returning to a former condition —used especially of a material (as metal or plastic)


re·mem·brance
Pronunciation:
    \ri-ˈmem-brən(t)s also -bə-rən(t)s\
Function:
    noun
Date:
    14th century

1: the state of bearing in mind2 a: the ability to remember : memory b: the period over which one's memory extends3: an act of recalling to mind4: a memory of a person, thing, or event5 a: something that serves to keep in or bring to mind : reminder b: commemoration , memorial c: a greeting or gift recalling or expressing friendship or affection

There's not even a hint of an archaic or obsolete definition here that refers to what the Orthodox see αναμνησιν to mean: namely, a participation in something that was performed.  Yet, during the Anaphora, after the priest has chanted our Lord's command to "Take, eat..." and "Drink, ye, all of this..." and the faithful have given the "Amen," he still chants quietly that we have in remembrance this saving commandment -- along with the Second Coming, among other things, which hasn't even happened yet, chronologically speaking -- so we can't say that we just "call to mind" these things but rather that, in uniting with the ministry of the Cherubim and Seraphim we are witnesses and participants of the things we re-member, or call together again.

Nevertheless, we still use the word "remembrance" to translate αναμνησιν, in spite of the commonly held definition by most Protestants.  I fail to see why your similar reasoning should hold water with regards to ιλασμος and "atonement."

I disagree with your definition of "atoning", and therefore I disagree with your understanding of what Christ's Blood has done for us. Yes, His Blood is the only source of Life for us, but It was not shed to make up what was lacking in our fallen state.

Back to this.  I would, I think, posit that the lack evidenced in human nature post-lapse (as attested to by St. Athanasius above) was rather the consequence instead of the principal motivation behind Christ's harrowing of hell.  Consider: Christ's primary objective was to "beat the deceiver at his own game," as it were, and tear down its gates.  Well and good.  Through His divine condescension and price which He paid for us -- His blood, according to St. Paul -- He was able to do us, for His blood was spilled, He gave all He was and is for us (as per your apt mentioning of sacrifice in an agrarian society), and Hades, having grabbed for a man, found God.  Wonderful.  By spilling out His Life He was thus able to die and destroy Hades.

What, then, is the result for us?  He rises, glorified and incorruptible, in the body, and it is in this glorification and incorruptibility that we are meant to share.  By His becoming the Firstfruits of the Resurrection, He has, in His own body, restored the Life that was lacking and will share that Life with us.  How are we to have His Life on the last Day?  By eating His Body and drinking His Blood, as well as taking up our own crosses and becoming Bread for the world even as He did (keeping His commandments, in other words).

So, then, by consuming the elements that were given for us and by participating in the life to which they call us, we have the Life in us (a seed of immortality, as it were) which was lacking in our fallen state.

And just one more thing David: where in the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy is the word "atonement" used?
Better yet, where does the word appear before Tyndale, 1524?
Even better yet, why is this even important?
Because Scripture and Tradition existed for one and a half milennia before the word "atonement" was invented by a Protestant Reformer.

Ah, but...Scripture and Tradition existed for hundreds of years before any English words appeared on the scene, no?  And when "atonement" was invented it was originally understood correctly, no?  The final argument here -- that we were just fine without it for a long time -- doesn't hold water.

Regardless, with regard to your original question, the word ιλασμος, as perfectly acceptable and biblical a word though it may be, is nowhere in the Divine Liturgy, either in Greek or in English, as far as I can tell.  It is, however, found in Vespers, when we quote the psalmist as saying, "ἐὰν ἀνομίας παρατηρήσῃ κύριε κύριε τίς ὑποστήσεται / ὅτι παρὰ σοὶ ὁ ἱλασμός ἐστιν."  You probably won't like this, George, but the OCA Diocese of the South translation of v. 4 is "with Thee there is propitiation."  Regardless, there it is, in our services: there is atonement with our God, for He does not mark iniquities.

And, further, even if the word atonement were nowhere represented in our divine services, I would fail to see why it therefore could not be used.  Where is the word "patience" or υπομονη, in the same?  Are we all called to be impatient because this, sole criterion is not met?  Surely not, as the word is very commonly used throughout the Holy Scriptures, as is ιλασμος.

Thank you for your υπομονη  ;) in awaiting (and, no doubt, reading) this lengthy and tardy reply.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on January 16, 2009, 05:52:17 PM
Prodromas, I thought your question better answered here on this concurrent thread (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19228.msg284806.html#msg284806), so I moved it there.

- PtA
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: lubeltri on January 16, 2009, 09:33:12 PM
From the Rheims...


17 Wherefore it behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful priest before God, that he might be a propitiation for the sins of the people.

That's the Bishop Challoner edition (18th century).

The original translation of the verse (Douay, 1582---29 years before the Authorized Version/King James) is thus:

Whereupon he ought in all things to be like unto his brethren: that he might become a merciful and faithful high Priest before God, that he might repropitiate the sins of the people.

-

I just consulted the Oxford English Dictionary. Here's the entry:

repropitiate, v. (and pa. pple.)

rare.

To make propitiation for (a thing or person) again; to restore to favour.

1582 N.T. (Rhem.) Heb. ii. 17 That he might repropitiate the sinnes of the people.

1617 BP. ANDREWES 96 Serm., Holy Ghost x. (1629) 708 Accepted to repropitiation, that is ἱλασμός, to as good grace, and favour as ever. Ibid., [Absalom was] repropitiate, when he was admitted to the king's presence and kissed him.


--------

Interestingly, the word propitiation first comes into English at the end of the 14th century in John Wycliffe's English Bible:

Leviticus 25:9: Thou schalt sowne with a clarioun in the seuenthe monethe, in the tenthe dai of the monethe, in the tyme of propiciacioun, that is, merci, in al youre lond.

It had the meaning of "mercy."

Here's Hebrews 2:17 in the Wycliffe Bible:

Wherfor he ouyte to be likned to britheren bi alle thingis, that he schulde be maad merciful and a feithful bischop to God, that he schulde be merciful to the trespassis of the puple.

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: MCE on May 01, 2009, 01:20:02 PM
the word atonement doesn't have to be present, for the concept it expresses to be present.
consider the word "Trinity," not in the Bible and even the term homoiousios, which was also not Biblical per se, but the latter despite this objection by some Fathers, was incl. in the Creed, because it most correctly and concisely expressed the ideas taught in the Scripture and the earlier Fathers.

Likewise, arguing over the word atonement is not really helpful.

Rather, is there evidence of a payment of debt, of righting a wrong, of balancing the scales of justice so to speak, in Scripture and in The Fathers, regarding Christ's death on the Cross?

And is there a focus on the Cross, all else revolving around it?

The answer to both questions is YES.

As for harrowing hell, Christ being God could have done this at any time without Incarnating.

ONLY the ability to die was gained, not the ability to go anywhere. David says in one of the psalms, "though I make my bed in hell, there will Your Spirit find me"
(pardon any imprecision of words, I don't have the text in front of me).

The real reason Orthodox don't believe the penal satisfaction theory, is twofold.
First, they have been hammered for generations since the 1800s, that is it not Orthodox.

Secondly, the version presented is usually a twisted version.

Third, the flesh doesn't like the idea of divine justice. This may indeed show a lack of repentance as one Orthodox person suggested.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 01, 2009, 01:51:06 PM
consider the word "Trinity," not in the Bible and even the term homoiousios, which was also not Biblical per se, but the latter despite this objection by some Fathers, was incl. in the Creed, because it most correctly and concisely expressed the ideas taught in the Scripture and the earlier Fathers.
CORRECTION:  I believe the word you want here is homoousios, which means "of the same essence".  Your inclusion of that one iota has grave consequences to our theology in that it changes the meaning of the word to "of like or similar essence", which ends up making our Trinitarian theology polytheistic.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: MCE on May 01, 2009, 01:52:54 PM
ozgeorge:
Jakub,
The word translated as "atonement" here is "ilasmos", it means
"reconciliation/to make acceptable"
So if that's what you mean by "atonement" (the word invented in the 16th century) then fine. In fact, that was the original meaning of the word (literally "at one-ment", i.e., to cause two things to be "at one" or "in harmony").
But here's how the Webster Dictionary defines "atonement" today:

Quote

atone·ment
Pronunciation:
    \ə-ˈtōn-mənt\
Function:
    noun
Date:
    1513

1: obsolete : reconciliation
2: the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ
3: reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction
4Christian Science : the exemplifying of human oneness with God

(Source)

See the problem? The original meaning of the word "atonement" which was invented to translate "ilasmos" into English is now obsolete, and it now means "reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction"

But there is no conflict here. Can you not see, that the making of propitiation or whatever you now define atonement as meaning, is merely the MEANS by which we are made acceptable, brought back into fellowship with God, reconciled to God? In this argument about eliasmos vs. modern
def. of atonement, there is merely a shift of focus from the entire process detail and results included, to the issue of what the detail or details were that resulted in the effect. Making things right is a term that includes means
and results.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: MCE on May 01, 2009, 01:56:41 PM
The iota, yes, you are quite correct, I apologize for the error. I forgot which of the two similar words was the right one, it should have been homoousios, without that iota.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 01, 2009, 08:07:37 PM
ozgeorge:
Jakub,
The word translated as "atonement" here is "ilasmos", it means
"reconciliation/to make acceptable"
So if that's what you mean by "atonement" (the word invented in the 16th century) then fine. In fact, that was the original meaning of the word (literally "at one-ment", i.e., to cause two things to be "at one" or "in harmony").
But here's how the Webster Dictionary defines "atonement" today:

Quote

atone·ment
Pronunciation:
    \ə-ˈtōn-mənt\
Function:
    noun
Date:
    1513

1: obsolete : reconciliation
2: the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ
3: reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction
4Christian Science : the exemplifying of human oneness with God

(Source)

See the problem? The original meaning of the word "atonement" which was invented to translate "ilasmos" into English is now obsolete, and it now means "reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction"

But there is no conflict here. Can you not see, that the making of propitiation or whatever you now define atonement as meaning, is merely the MEANS by which we are made acceptable, brought back into fellowship with God, reconciled to God? In this argument about eliasmos vs. modern
def. of atonement, there is merely a shift of focus from the entire process detail and results included, to the issue of what the detail or details were that resulted in the effect. Making things right is a term that includes means
and results.
MCE, just a hint for you to do with as you like...  Using the "Quote" link at the top of every post is a much more efficient way to quote someone else's post than the copy-and-paste method you appear to be using.  The "Quote" function does the "copy-and-paste" automatically, and it makes your final post much easier to read with its clear separation of quoted text from original text.  Just a thought... :)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: MCE on May 01, 2009, 08:41:43 PM
thanks, i couldn't figure out why everybody else's quotes were in a gray box, and mine were indistinguishable from the rest of my post.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on December 27, 2009, 02:56:11 AM
I came across this last night when reading St. Athanasius of Alexandria's De Incarnatione Verbi Dei:

Quote
Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to the corruption of death, He surrendered His body to death in place of all, and offered it to the Father. - Chapter 1, Section 8.

The last bit through me for a loop.  Aren't we supposed to understand the "offering" aspect of Christ to ransom Satan and death, and not see the sacrifice as an offering to the Father?  Or is it just that it is not to appease God the Father's wrath?  Is it completely Orthodox to say that Christ offered his body as a sacrifice to the Father?

The liturgical prayers read thus during the Anaphora:

Quote
Thine own of Thine own we offer unto Thee on behalf of all and for all.

Does this teach us that Christ's sacrifice is being offered to God the Father at each liturgy?  If the offering is made for our sins to God the Father, then why does God demand this sacrifice?

I'm sure that Christ being offered as a sacrifice for our sins is apparent throughout the New Testament, but do the Holy Scriptures clearly state that Christ was offered as a sacrifice to the Father?

Forgive me if I am missing something obvious here, but it's very difficult for me to understand the differences between the Western notions of "atonement" and the Eastern notions of "reconciliation" in the proper sense.  Does Christ "reconcile" us to the Father by offering Himself to the Father for our sins, but just not to appease the Father's anger?  Is the notion of appeasing the Father's anger or offense the main difference?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: MCE on December 27, 2009, 04:05:33 AM
I came across this last night when reading St. Athanasius of Alexandria's De Incarnatione Verbi Dei:

Quote
Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to the corruption of death, He surrendered His body to death in place of all, and offered it to the Father. - Chapter 1, Section 8.

The last bit through me for a loop.  Aren't we supposed to understand the "offering" aspect of Christ to ransom Satan and death, and not see the sacrifice as an offering to the Father?  Or is it just that it is not to appease God the Father's wrath?  Is it completely Orthodox to say that Christ offered his body as a sacrifice to the Father?

REPLY: NOW you are getting the picture. A false notion rejecting
this core truth you are discovering, has been promulgated from
19th Century Russia to much of the Orthodox world. That invention
itself was the product of men who, though churchmen, were
personally steeped in liberal philosophies. (specifically, Khomiakov,
who created an Orthodox version of German Idealism, and Met.
Anthony Khrapovitsky, see
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/substitutionary_atonement_in_orthodoxy

Naturally by now, you will have heard it from priests who heard
it from priests. But track it all back far enough, and you have
Khomiakov and Khrapovitsky.

Ever hear of the Council of Blachernae-Constantinople of AD 1156?
In response to a misunderstanding, that Christ was sacrificed to
The Father ALONE, the specification was made that Christ's
sacrifice, to The Father, was received not only by The Father but
by The Son and The Holy Spirit.

And the idea that Christ paid a ransom to satan was correctly
denounced as a monstrous idea by St. Gregory Nazianzen, who
said that The Father received the sacrifice of Christ as part of
the divine economy. (I might add, that ransom or redemption
can also be accomplished by brute force rescue from one who
holds someone prisoner. And, Christ beat up and crippled the
devil and his forces in hell while still dead before The Resurrection.
And, to make Christ out to have paid off satan, is to blasphemously
suggest that Christ made a sacrifice to the devil and was therefore
a devil worshipper, an apostate, a sacrificer to a demon and to
a false god, things explicitly PROHIBITED. No, it was the
sacrifice to God that annulled our debt for which reason we were
excluded to the tundra so to speak, from which Christ came and
took the dead back who were willing to go with Him. In the West
this is known in art as The Harrowing of Hell.)

The liturgical prayers read thus during the Anaphora:

Quote
Thine own of Thine own we offer unto Thee on behalf of all and for all.

Does this teach us that Christ's sacrifice is being offered to God the Father at each liturgy? 

REPLY: It is not a re-sacrifice over and over, but a making present
now, plugging into Eternity, what occurred once and for all back
then. But yes, you got the idea. And you are eating Christ's flesh
and blood, not the mystical body the church extension of Him.

If the offering is made for our sins to God the Father, then why does God demand this sacrifice?

I'm sure that Christ being offered as a sacrifice for our sins is apparent throughout the New Testament, but do the Holy Scriptures clearly state that Christ was offered as a sacrifice to the Father?

REPLY: I think the detailed discussion of Christ's High Priesthood
in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and references to our redemption
in context of the whole Torah and sacrificial system, makes this
pretty obvious, except that YHVH, not so clearly revealed as
Trinity, was the recipient in the OT system, and of course included
preincarnate Christ or YHVH God the Son. Naturally, once Christ
stepped in to clean up the mess man had made, but couldn't
fix, He is priest, victim, sacrifice, and recipient also.



Forgive me if I am missing something obvious here, but it's very difficult for me to understand the differences between the Western notions of "atonement" and the Eastern notions of "reconciliation" in the proper sense.  Does Christ "reconcile" us to the Father by offering Himself to the Father for our sins, but just not to appease the Father's anger?  Is the notion of appeasing the Father's anger or offense the main difference?

The whole Trinity was upset with us, the whole Trinity loves us,
the atonement, the appeasing and also the satisfaction of justice
so that God The Father AND the rest of the Trinity can deal with
us according to love, without compromising their integrity and
self consistency, is an act of supreme love for us and for the rest
of creation.

And the alleged conflict between East and West on this is non
existent. All the features (except for the blasphemous idea of
sacrifice to the devil, which was an invention of the in general
repudiated Origen who, with several heretical notions of his, was
anathematized at the 5th Ecumenical Council (2 Constantinople)
and was rejected long ago, and any modern revival of such a
notion strikes me as the likely result of some slick deception by
some satanist/luciferian philosopher muttering to whoever
started this idea's revival. Gregory of Nyssa seems to have held
some Origenic ideas which were anathematized, and I might
add that I have heard, from a ROCOR priest who was originally
RC, that before the fall Adam and Eve didn't have gross material
physical bodies like we do now, and that is among the ideas
rejected by the 5th Ecumenical Council, which didn't deal with
this idea about Adam and Eve but about stars and other material
things).

Sorry if I sort of ramble, but these are often complex things.

The idea that you can't refer to the Fathers because they aren't
infallible and much hasn't been translated is silly. All you have
to do is check anything with Scripture (as St. Bishop Cyril
of Jerusalem in his catechetical lectures said to do) and with
the dogmatic definitions and anathemas in the Ecumenical
Councils and the Synodikon of Anathemas.

Mary Christine Erikson (OCA, baptismal name Justina)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: MCE on December 27, 2009, 04:06:50 AM
oops, I seem to have somehow mishandled the reply with
quote. in the grey box, where REPLY appears, that is my
answer to the quote and somehow it all got put together.
Sorry.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 27, 2009, 04:22:04 AM
The whole Trinity was upset with us, the whole Trinity loves us,
the atonement, the appeasing and also the satisfaction of justice
so that God The Father AND the rest of the Trinity can deal with
us according to love, without compromising their integrity and
self consistency, is an act of supreme love for us and for the rest
of creation.
Western nonsense.
The idea that God needs "appeasing" and "satisfaction" and can't forgive us or deal lovingly with us unless something bleeds to death is an abhorrent pagan myth.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on December 27, 2009, 04:39:03 AM
Western nonsense.
The idea that God needs "appeasing" and "satisfaction" and can't forgive us or deal lovingly with us unless something bleeds to death is an abhorrent pagan myth.

So was God abhorrent when he required sacrifices in the temple for the remission of the sins of the Jews?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 27, 2009, 06:02:04 AM
Western nonsense.
The idea that God needs "appeasing" and "satisfaction" and can't forgive us or deal lovingly with us unless something bleeds to death is an abhorrent pagan myth.

So was God abhorrent when he required sacrifices in the temple for the remission of the sins of the Jews?
But isn't it Christ's sacrifice on the Cross that defines for Christians the proper understanding of the sacrifices of the Jewish Temple?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 27, 2009, 06:12:56 AM
I came across this last night when reading St. Athanasius of Alexandria's De Incarnatione Verbi Dei:

Quote
Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to the corruption of death, He surrendered His body to death in place of all, and offered it to the Father. - Chapter 1, Section 8.

The last bit through me for a loop.  Aren't we supposed to understand the "offering" aspect of Christ to ransom Satan and death, and not see the sacrifice as an offering to the Father?  Or is it just that it is not to appease God the Father's wrath?  Is it completely Orthodox to say that Christ offered his body as a sacrifice to the Father?


The idea of the "Atonement" as a Ransom was repudiated in no uncertain terms by
Gregory Nazianzen (4th century) who said:

"Was it paid to the evil one? Monstrous thought!
The devil receives a ransom not only from God but of God ..
To the Father? But we were not in bondage to him ...
And could the Father delight in the death of his Son?"
(Orationes, 45.22)

Of course salvation can be thought of as a ransom. Following
the Church Fathers, the East teaches that Christ, on the Cross,
gave "His life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28), (Mark 10:45).

The "ransom" is paid to the grave. As the Lord revealed to the Prophet Hosea
(Hosea 13:14),
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from
death."

In a sense, He pays the ransom to the devil who is the keeper of the grave and
holds the power of death (Heb. 2:14).
"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity
so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that
is, the devil."

But despite Gregory's objections above the idea became popular. Saint Gregory
protested that the question of "Who received the payment?" should not be pressed
hard. No matter what debt the Devil was owed it could not possibly have included
God himself. On the other hand, the Father could not have been the recipient of
the ransom, since he was not the one holding us captive. And if the blood of
Isaac had not pleased him, why would he desire the blood of his beloved son?

Saint Gregory sums up: "the Father accepts Christ's sacrifice without having
demanded it; the Son offers it to honour him; and the result is the defeat of
the Evil One. This is as much as we shall say of Christ; the greater portion
shall be reverenced with silence."

Anselm took aim at the exaggerated versions of the ransom theory, but didn't
agree to leave the greater portion to silence. He theorised that the payment
*was* made to God the Father. In Anselm's formulation, our sins were like an
offence against the honour of a mighty ruler. The ruler is not free to simply
forgive the transgression; restitution must be made. (This is a crucial new
element in the story; earlier Christians believed that God the Father did, in
fact, freely forgive us, like the father of the Prodigal Son - that parable
deserves serious thought in connection with this discussion.) No human would be
adequate to pay this debt, so God the Son volunteers to do so. "If the Son chose
to make over the claim He had on God to man, could the Father justly forbid Him
doing so, or refuse to man what the Son willed to give him?" Christ satisfies
our debt in this, the "Satisfaction Theory." Western Christian theology marched
on from that point, encountering controversies and developments and revisions,
but locked on the idea that Christ's death was directed toward the Father. When
Western theologians look back at the centuries before Anselm they can't find his
theory anywhere (well, there are some premonitions in Tertullian and Cyprian,
but it wasn't the mainstream.) And Anselm's ideas which developed when
Christendom had been rent in two remain, still, essentially unknown to the
ancient Churches of the East.

-oOo-

It would seem to be important to establish a vocabulary. After all, if there
are Christians who teach that substitutionary atonement is such bedrock
theology, then there must be a vocabulary connected with it which can be traced
through the writings of the first Christians and through the early centuries of
Church authors and teachers. It is just too vague to write: "this is all the
language of atonement." The Church fathers never had any problems coining words
to convey concepts which they considered important to them - they never did so
in the case of "atonement." If they had such a concept they would have found a
concrete way of expressing it.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 27, 2009, 06:16:34 AM
But isn't it Christ's sacrifice on the Cross that defines for Christians the proper understanding of the sacrifices of the Jewish Temple?
Only if you're an Evangelical nutbag.
Or worship Kali.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 27, 2009, 06:17:02 AM
There is an interesting essay "Salvation By Christ: A Response to Credenda /
Agenda on Orthodoxy's Teaching of Theosis and the Doctrine of Salvation
,"
by Carmen Fragapane.

http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx

Carmen Fragapane writes:

"...In EH Jones writes that in Orthodoxy "discussions of substitutionary
atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published
explanations of salvation. 

[It is absent from Bishop Kallistos Ware's The Orthodox Church]

"... the notion that redemption should be rigidly interpreted in one
particular way is itself foreign to early Christian thought: "The seven
ecumenical councils avoided defining salvation through any [one model]
alone. No universal Christian consensus demands that one view of salvation
includes or excludes all others" .

J.N.D. Kelly further explains:

"Scholars have often despaired of discovering any single unifying
thought in the Patristic teaching about the redemption. These various theories,
however, despite appearances, should not be regarded as in fact mutually
incompatible. They were all of them attempts to elucidate the same great
truth from different angles; their superficial divergences are often due to
the different Biblical images from which they started, and there is no
logical reason why, carefully stated, they should not be regarded as
complimentary". And this is precisely what we find in Orthodoxy: "While
insisting in this way upon the unity of Christ's saving economy, the
Orthodox Church has never formally endorsed any particular theory of
atonement. The Greek Fathers, following the New Testament, employ a rich
variety of images to describe what the Savior has done for us. These models
are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, each needs to be balanced by
the others. Five models stand out in particular: teacher, sacrifice, ransom,
victory and participation" ..."

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 27, 2009, 06:28:56 AM

Mary Christine Erikson (OCA, baptismal name Justina)

This lady is a recent convert to Orthodoxy and has spent probably a year and more literally bombarding the Orthodox e-lists with the Protestant teaching of penal substitutionary atonement.

Priest after priest has attempted to reason with her on the Orthodox lists and forums.  All to no avail.   Her messages can become intemperate and even obscene and she has ended up being banned from every Orthodox list she has been writing on.

I am sorry to write so bluntly but the warning should be put out there.

If anyone is interested, when Justina was shown the door on the Orthodox lists, she created her own Yahoo list to push penal substitutionary atonement onto Orthodoxy
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/substitutionary_atonement_in_orthodoxy/
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 27, 2009, 06:35:09 AM

Mary Christine Erikson (OCA, baptismal name Justina)

Naughty MCE !!  :laugh: :-* ::)  I just had a look at your profile and you *are* Mary Christine Erikson (OCA, baptismal name Justina), come to teach us about penal substitutionary atonement !! 
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Danut on December 27, 2009, 06:48:59 AM


Your brother, Dan-Romania

You have been banned previously, which means you are not permitted to post anywhere on OC.net, even under a different user name.

+FrChris
Admin
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 27, 2009, 09:35:58 AM
Christ sacrifice was for God, to accomplish God`s righteouss.It`s the ultimate act wich shows us that God is all-righteous, and a Just Judge, not only this , but All-Loving and All-Mercifull. God could of redeemed us in any way , but He chose to satisfy the Divine Justice. He is Almighty He could of done it in any way.Splendid says the Apostle : God was in Jesus reconciliating the world with Himself.God judged Himself for our sins and took the sins of humanity upon Himself.For He became sin , the one who knew no sins so that we could became sinless through Him.So Jesus' sacrifice was for our atonement, cause "He took all our infirmities and all our inquities , our wicknesses and our sickness upon Himself"(from Esaias, Isaiah 53).It was the sacrifice for the accomplishment of God`s Justice.Cause He took all our sins upon Himself the sins of humanity and the handwritting that was contrary to us in wich all the sins of humanity were accounted and nailed it on the cross.For God DIED , consider this, imagine this , this was the judgement and the offering so it would satisfy the Judgement, he took the sins of humanity and judged Himself for them and Died Himself for all our sins, God Almighty, died for us.This is the sacrifice of great and splendid odure , the sacrifice of Justice.The sacrifice of Christs stands as testimony for God`s justice a testimony for all the prosecutors and the acusors , the Devil and the Angels.
Roman Catholic nonsense.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 27, 2009, 11:18:52 AM
But isn't it Christ's sacrifice on the Cross that defines for Christians the proper understanding of the sacrifices of the Jewish Temple?
Only if you're an Evangelical nutbag.
Or worship Kali.

Care to expound on this thought?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 27, 2009, 02:41:05 PM
Care to expound on this thought?

Have you actually read what I have been saying on this thread for over two years? I'm pretty sure I have been exponding on it for over two years....or perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps I missed something. Have a read and let me know:

The question it asks is: "To whom is the ransom paid?"
It cannot be paid to God, since God was not holding us to ransom because of our sins. We were enslaved to Death and the Devil by our sins, and to say that Christ paid a ransom to death and the Devil to liberate us is ludicrous.

Or, another possibility is that "ransom" is a metaphor, and is not to be taken literally.

St. Gregory the Theologian, Second Oration on Pascha

"To whom was that Blood offered that was shed for us, and why was it shed? I mean the precious and famous Blood of our God and High Priest and Sacrifice. We were detained in bondage by the evil one, sold under sin, and received pleasure in exchange for wickedness. Now, since a ransom belongs only to him who holds in bondage, I ask, to who was this offered and to what cause? If to the evil one, fie upon the outrage! The robber receives ransom, not only from God, but a ransom which consists of God Himself, and as such has an illustrious payment for his tyranny, a payment for whose sake it would have been right for him to have left us alone all together.
But first I ask, how? For it was not by Him (God) that we were being oppressed. And next, on what principle did the Blood of His only Begotten Son delight the Father, Who would not receive even Isaac when he was being offered by his father, but changed the sacrifice, putting a ram in place of a human victim? Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things."


I would not wish to say that any of the bibilical motifs for understanding the cross are metaphorical; mysteries that we can't fully comprehend? Yes. Metaphors, No.
So, again, I ask, to whom was the ransom paid if it is a literal ransom? As St. Gregory says, the one who held us in bondage is the evil one, so did he receive the ransom?
The problem with viewing terms like "ransom" and "atonement" too literally is that doing so imprisons God. Basically, it means God cannot forgive sin unless an atonement is made or a ransom paid.

This is the way I view it. The ransom (Christ)is the bait. When Christ offers himself sinless to the devil, the devil didn't know he had a sinless example of a human. the devil took the bait and was bound by doing it. Death was overcome by a sinless example. This is clearly seen when one sees that death is the consequence for sin.

I agree. It was a case of deceiving the deceiver. And in the Orthodox Church, we commemorate this on Holy Saturday:

"Today Hades cries out groaning:
I should not have accepted the Man born of Mary.
He came and destroyed my power.
He shattered the gates of brass.
As God. He raised the souls I had held captive.

"Today Hades cries out groaning:
my power has been abolished;
I have received a mortal, as one of the mortals;
but this One, I am completely powerless to contain;
with Him, I have lost all those over which I have ruled. 
For ages I had held them dead;
but behold, He raises them up all.'"



I'm not sure we have any choice but to view the word "ransom" as a metaphor. If we don't view it as a metaphor- then the ransom must be paid to the one who holds in bondage, i.e., the one who holds to ransom, or the one who has enslaved.
Why can't you just accept this instead of making some song and dance about how it is "not a metaphor"? Why is it so important to you that it is not a metaphor?

This is what I don't get.
Any time anyone questions a particular view of soteriology, such as the literal interpretation of Christ as "ransom", they are "convert bashing" or "anti-Western"....Why? 
If a particular doctrinal interpretation has holes in it, it has holes in it if it is "Western", "Eastern", "Northern" or "Southern".
And if it is not the "universally accepted" Western view, then why should someone who is merely questioning it's correctness be accused of being "anti-Western" or "convert bashing"? Do only Western coverts hold these views?

I don't believe it was a ransom paid to the devil or bait put forth to ensnare him.
And I agree with you. All I'm saying is that a literal interpretation of the concept of "ransom" does not permit one to hold this view.
I think that the fact that we were "bought at a price" is a testimony to God's love for us, and it is the way He chose to save us by Divine Economia so that "when I (Christ) am lifted up (on the Cross), I will draw all men to Myself." But I also think that God's infinite love and mercy does not require that a "payment" be made for sin. Christ said: "This is my Blood of the new Covenant which is shed for many to (Gk: "εις") the forgiveness of sin."  To interpret this as saying "in order that sins may be forgiven" in the sense that sins can only be forgiven if someone suffers and dies in "payment" for them or accepts the "punishment" due for them is, in my view, erroneous. Our sins are forgiven because God is merciful, not because He has been paid off like some mafia boss given protection money.

What's important to understand to me is why it appears that much of what is being purported as the "Orthodox view" seems radically inconsistent with what the church has taught in the past. 
I'm not sure that it is radically different from what the Church has taught in the past. What seems radically different is that some view concepts meant as metaphors as meant to be taken literally- something which the Fathers did not do.

It's also important to me to understand why there is a continual need felt by many Orthodox people to continually construct caricatures of the "western view" or to define what they believe in terms of what they oppose in western theology.
I think what they are reacting against is the misinterpretation of metaphors as literal doctrine. The fact is that many today think that "God cannot forgive sin unless something bleeds".  I myself have come accross this many times, not only in my Catholic and Protestant friends, but some Orthodox as well. The fact is that this view is absent in Eastern soteriology, since our salvation came about by the "Divine Economia" of the Incarnation.

was not aware that I am putting forth a "song and dance" here, so much as actually posting writings that are directly related to the topic at hand.
What I am asking is: why is it so important that no one question the literal interpretation of our redemption as being the payment of a ransom? When you said:
Yes, that is the question.
Yet, if what you say is true, there is no ransom.  Yet, clearly there is a ransom that was paid by Christ on our behalf.  But to whom?
It seems to me there is only one possibility.
It seems to me that the words "clearly there is a ransom that was paid by Christ on our behalf"  leaves no room except for a literal interpretation of "ransom" to mean a payment given to God without which He could not forgive our sin. If I misunderstood, I apologise. But if this is what you meant to say, I could not disagree more.

What exactly is absent in "Eastern" soteriology?  Why do we stress "Eastern" so much?

Because Eastern theology has maintained the Orthodox Christian view of redemption. Whereas the "Western" view has been typified by the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and are different. See:Summa Theologica: Q48 The efficiency of Christ's Passion (http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4048.htm)

I will say I'm thankful my real world experiences in the church are in almost all cases absolutely nothing like what I read online.
That's fine. But you're just going to have to accept the fact that in 40 years as an Orthodox Christian, I have never come across any reference in any Liturgical Service to the "satisfaction" view of redemption. That's my real world experience.

Mina,
You're playing on the word "satisfaction" here.
There is nothing wrong with the Russian theological concept of "satisfying" the Righteousness of God (which is what St. Athanasios is talking about), in fact, this is exactly how Christ redeemed us; that is, by fulfilling the Law: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matthew 5:17). And not only Christ, but we too are required to satisfy God's Righteousness: ".... it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." (Matthew 3:15).

 But this is vastly different to the Western concept of satisfying God's "Justice" (which is what lubeltri is talking about), where God must extract a payment before He will forgive sin.

Satisfying God's Righteousnes is something we must all strive for, but was fulfilled par excellence by the Theanthropic Christ.

Satisfying God's Justice, however by saying things such as:
To satisfy the divine justice or the divine consistency. It is just that we all die for rejecting God through sin.
makes Death not the natural consequence of sin, but a temporal evil imposed on us by God in retribution for sin. In other words, it makes God the Author of evil. The wages of sin are death, but who is it that "pays" these wages? Is it the God Who swore by His Own Life that He does not desire the death of the sinner but that he should turn and live (Ezekiel 33:11)? I don't think so.

If one wishes to take the judicial view of Redemtion, one has no choice but to aknowledge that the reductio ad absurdum is that God cannot forgive sin unless a penalty for it is paid, and one lays oneself open to the accusations of Atheists that the God one worships doesn't think repentance is sincere enough unless someone has pain and death inflicted on them.



According to St. Athanasius, repentance wasn't enough.  Not only does it not heal the corruption, but also it makes God's word untrue to simply forgive after saying one will "surely die."

But you are assuming that St. Athanasios is taking the judicial view here, and you are reading things into him that he does not say. Where does St. Athanasios say that God cannot forgive sin without the Crucifixion? Forgiving sin is one thing, and redeeming us from death is quite another.

I've said it three times on this thread, and I'll say it again: Death is the natural consequence of sin, not the "penalty" inflicted by God for sin. We will "surely die" for sin just as we will "surely die" if we ingest cyanide, but death is not the "penalty" for ingesting cyanide, it's merely the natural consequence of it. By ingesting cyanide, we corrupt our homeostasis, and this leads to death. Sin also corrupts us and leads to death.

The greatest testimony to the fact that God did not redeem mankind by judicial means is the Harrowing of Hades. It was a rescue mission to save mankind from the natural consequences of sin, just like a paramedic saves a drug addict from the natural consequences of taking an overdose.

Again, we should not put words in RC mouths.  Let's seek to understand them.  Perhaps, all they were affirming all this time was Athanasian theology.
I am listening, and what I am hearing is that unless I take the judicial view of redemption, I am a heretic, and I refuse to accept that.
The denial of any juridical aspect is just plain heterodoxy to me

Well, St. Athanasius says that God cannot merely forgive sin or fix corruption, even though He has that power, it would be "inconsistent" for God to forgive sin without the Incarnation, Human Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.  So, in the end, St. Athanasius does indeed say that God cannot "forgive sin" without the Incarnation, in addition to redemption of death.

No he doesn't Mina.

Listen to what St. Athanasios actually says:
Quote
"The law of death, which followed from the Transgression, prevailed upon us, and from it there was no escape. The thing that was happening was in truth both monstrous and unfitting. It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die ; but it was equally monstrous that beings which once had shared the nature of the Word should perish and turn back again into non-existence through corruption."
St. Athanasios says that Death is not "Just" as lubeltri claims, St. Athanasios says it is monstrous.

and St. Athanasios also says:
Quote
"Was He to demand repentance from men for their transgression ? You might say that that was worthy of God, and argue further that, as through the Transgression they became subject to corruption, so through repentance they might return to incorruption again. But repentance would not guard the Divine consistency, for, if death did not hold dominion over men, God would still remain untrue. Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature ; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning., Had it been a case of a trespass only, and not of a subsequent corruption, repentance would have been well enough; but when once transgression had Begun men came under the power of the corruption proper to their nature and were bereft of the grace which belonged to them as creatures in the Image of God. No, repentance could not meet the case. What-or rather Who was it that was needed for such grace and such recall as we required? "
St. Athanasios is not talking about forgiveness, but healing the consequences of sin. One can repent of murdering someone, and God will forgive them, but the consequences of the sin (the corruption it causes) remain- the victim remains dead.

You are equating Forgiveness with Redemption- which is the very error which the judicial view makes, but St. Athanasios clearly distinguishes between sin and it's consequences, and between forgiveness and Redemption. Sin can be forgiven, and indeed was forgiven even before the Incarnation. But the echoes sin causes through the Universe, that is, it's consequences, could only be healed through the Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection of the God-Man.

Quote
The law of death, which followed from the Transgression, prevailed upon us, and from it there was no escape. The thing that was happening was in truth both monstrous and unfitting.I
t's equally monstrous and "unthinkable" (did you think about it...shame on you  Tongue) that God should just simply get rid of the death and corruption that ailed man.  God said man will surely die, and He CANNOT go back on His word.  Notice also, it's interesting because while we concentrate so much on the fact that it's our own fault, we forget that it's also God's commandment that this should happen if this happened.  If it's merely just a "my own fault, God didn't create death" type of arguement, it wouldn't have been necessary for St. Athanasius to be so insistent on Goid not going back "on His word."

No Mina! Stop and think! You are saying that what St. Athanasios calls "the law of death" was created by God, and that He cannot break His own law. But "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good", and "the dead do not praise the Lord, neither they that go down into the silence", and "The Lord is the God of the living and not of the dead." Just as sin is evil and can have no part with God, Death is also evil and can have no part with God. Death is the absence of Life, and the only Source of Life is God.
When God says in Genesis that on the day Adam disobeys His commandment "you will surely die", He is stating a fact; namely that sin by definition cuts us off from the Source of Life. This is the "law of death" St. Athanasios is talking about. What is impure and evil cannot have anything to do with what is Pure and Good, and evil cannot have any part of God. The concept is ontological not judicial. Don't be confused by the term "law". When we talk about the Laws of Thermodynamics, we are not talking about judicial laws. And note that St. Athanasios calls it "the law of death", not the "law of God".

It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die.
Quote
Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature ; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning.
Self-explanatory.  This is the ontological side of things.
No, Mina. It is exactly the same as what St. Athanasios said before, just a different way of saying it. In both cases, St. Athanasios is saying the same thing and is speaking ontologically.


David,
I have read your articles, and I liked them, but I don't think we can draw the conclusion that the "judicial" and "ontological" views complement each other, and I'm not sure how you are trying to make this connection when you say:
I mean...God demands a perfect humanity for union with Himself and will take no less, for to do so would 1) go against the reality of holiness' incompatibility with iniquity and 2) damn us all as a natural consequence...and His love for us could not bear the latter, nor would His holiness allow for the former to pass unchallenged and unconquered.
(1) above, is ontological- evil and good, impurity and purity cannot mix, because that would mean that God is no longer Pure, and therefore, no longer God., and in (2), it is not God Who is damns us, and He acts, not with "Justice" but with Mercy to solve an ontological problem:
our impurity and consequential seperation from Him Who is the All Pure Source of Life vs. His desire that we be united with Him

Peter the Aleut,
I think it is wrong to think of God as the Creator of death. The Source of Life cannot create Death. Just as darkness is the result of being cut off from a source of light, Death is the result of being cut off from the Source of Life. Thus, "the law of death" is not a "Divine Law", it's the natural consequence of being cut off from the Divine. Deification is not "one option among many", it is the only option if we are to attain Eternal Life, and it is intrinsic to our true Human Nature. We made it impossible to attain by leaving the Source of Life, and Christ made it possible again by Sanctifying Human Nature at the Incarnation, and delivering the souls of those in Hades by His own Death. God took back from Death what was His. To say that He put them there in the first place makes God the sadistic being that modern Atheists accuse us of making Him into.

But if you say that God created "the law of death" you are saying that God could have chosen not to let sin lead to death. Our redemption, therefore, is a farce which never needed to happen in the first place. God places us in Hades then gets us out again....some Redeemer that would be! It would be like a firefighter who starts forest fires then plays the hero.

I am in fact saying this!  :o  All jest aside, for God to have chosen "not to let sin lead to death" would have been inconsistent with His incorruptible nature.  God cannot by His very nature allow Himself to be corrupted by uniting Himself to the corruption caused by sin.  Sin, therefore, MUST separate man from God.
That's correct. Which is what I've been saying all along. God could not have included anything in the Laws of Nature which would prevent sin leading to death, so, contrary to the Laws of Nature, a Virgin gave birth to a Human Being Who is God....We were redeemed because God suspended and contradicted the Laws of Nature. And when, as True Man, God died on the Cross, He himself entered the realm of Death, and even the Dead were no longer seperated from Him, and He raised them up and granted them Life again.


If St. Athanasius explicates that our redemption was achieved by (inter alia) the lifting of "God's sentence", and yet you persist in essentially denying that God could be responsible in any way for any sentence, then I am inclined to believe that you are not really addressing St. Athanasius on his own terms.

EA,
Again, you misquote St. Athanasios and take his words out of context.
In answer to the Arians, Saint Athanasios is talking about the remission of sin and the fact that Christ had the authority to forgive sins on Earth, which proves that He was not a creature, but God Himself. Here is what St. Athanasios actually says:
Quote
And how, were the Word a creature, had He power to undo God's sentence, and to remit sin, whereas it is written in the Prophets, that this is God's doing? For 'who is a God like unto You, that pardons iniquity, and passes by transgression Micah 7:18 ?' For whereas God has said, 'Dust you are, and unto dust shall you return Genesis 3:19 ,' men have become mortal; how then could things originate undo sin?

Therefore, since the Saint is saying that Christ had the authority to "undo God's sentence" by forgiving sins on Earth, the attempt to use this as "proof" that the Saint is saying that our redemption through the Cross and Resurrection was judicial in nature is ludicrous. In answer to the Arians, St. Athanasios is showing that Christ is God by referring to the fact that in the Gospel, Christ had the authority to "undo God's sentence"  by forgiving sins....and He was doing this in the Gospel before His Death and Resurrection. If we take the judicial view of Redemption, wouldn't it be impossible for Christ to remit sins before the "debt" was paid by Him?



Peter,
it isn't the use of words like "ransom" and "wrath" which are the problem, but trather, it is when they are taken literally. If I take what St. Cyril is saying literally, then I must believe that the immutable God changed from being wrathful to merciful. Even Scripture says that God was "grieved" that He had that He had created the world (Genesis 6:7) but is this really possible? Could God really have felt that He'd made a mistake in creating the Earth and changed His mind? Are we meant to take this literally?

So we were ransomed from death and corruption by Christ's substitution on the Cross in order that we would undergo an ontological change through theosis and thus be saved from the "everlasting punishment" which those who have not put on Christ and thus remain united to death and corruption will undergo.
David,
Again, in my mind, this raises the questions:
1) To whom was the "ransom from death and corruption" paid?
2) If a substitution was required for the forgiveness of sin, how could Christ forgive the sins of the Paralytic and the Woman caught in adultery before this substitution had taken place?
3) If Theosis was impossible before the "substitution", how did Elijah not die and get taken up into Heaven in his body and meet Christ on Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration?

I mention this only because, as you say, such ideas of substitution and ransom may be "very comfortable to Western ears", but in this day and age, when people are questioning the basis of our belief, such questions can be raised and are quite valid, and we need to be ready with an answer.



Thanks Father.
No matter how many times I quote St. Gregory the Theologian on this thread and no matter how many times I insist that “ransom” and “substitution” and “atonement” cannot be taken literally, people insist that we need to use these terms to make our (Orthodox) soteriology palatable to the West. But I keep arguing that these terms make no sense if taken literally rather than metaphorically. I can’t see how the “scholastic” West could find these terms "palatable" since even slightly scratching the surface of them causes them to fall apart.
George

St. Gregory the Theologian, Second Oration on Pascha

"To whom was that Blood offered that was shed for us, and why was it shed? I mean the precious and famous Blood of our God and High Priest and Sacrifice. We were detained in bondage by the evil one, sold under sin, and received pleasure in exchange for wickedness. Now, since a ransom belongs only to him who holds in bondage, I ask, to who was this offered and to what cause? If to the evil one, fie upon the outrage! The robber receives ransom, not only from God, but a ransom which consists of God Himself, and as such has an illustrious payment for his tyranny, a payment for whose sake it would have been right for him to have left us alone all together.
But first I ask, how? For it was not by Him (God) that we were being oppressed. And next, on what principle did the Blood of His only Begotten Son delight the Father, Who would not receive even Isaac when he was being offered by his father, but changed the sacrifice, putting a ram in place of a human victim? Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things."



I would not wish to say that any of the bibilical motifs for understanding the cross are metaphorical; mysteries that we can't fully comprehend? Yes. Metaphors, No.
So, again, I ask, to whom was the ransom paid if it is a literal ransom? As St. Gregory says, the one who held us in bondage is the evil one, so did he receive the ransom?
The problem with viewing terms like "ransom" and "atonement" too literally is that doing so imprisons God. Basically, it means God cannot forgive sin unless an atonement is made or a ransom paid.


That fact that the term "atonement" had to be invented should tell people something.
What do you suggest this should tell us?

What St. Isaac the Syrian says:

Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good’, He says ‘to the evil and to the impious.’ How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? … How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? Where, then, is God’s justice, for while we are sinners Christ died for us!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51


 
1) There is no "whom," but a "what": the reality of all mens' common mortality.  It held us captive as would a human captor, and Christ's blood was the only element strong enough to overturn the rule of death.
By this reasoning, God paid a debt which was owed to the mortality which He Himself gave us: "And the LORD God said, “My Spirit shall not remain among these men forever, for they are flesh; but their days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”  (Genesis 6:3) It is God Who appointed our mortality. Is God therefore like a pyromaniac firefighter who ignites fires so that they can be seen as dramatic rescuer? And is death so much stronger than the Pantocrator God by Whose command the Universe and everything in it came to be that the only way God can defeat death is to bleed and suffer in pain? It's absurd.
2) Melito of Sardis comments that, when the angel in the book of Exodus saw the blood of lambs on the Israelites' doorposts, the angel was not truly "seeing" the blood of lambs, but the blood of Christ which would cleanse all sins (which are shortcomings of being as well as of action, and which are made up for in the Life offered by Christ in His blood).  Likewise, the forgiveness offered to the Paralytic and the Adulterous Woman was "looking forward" to the Cross.  The Cross is the Axis on which all of Time, all of Creation turns; as such, there is no "before" or "after" regarding its effectiveness.  As St. Irenaeus of Lyons said, "it was necessary that he who would be saved should come into existence, that the One who saves should not exist in vain."  The "In the beginning" of Genesis 1:1 was uttered because of the Cross.  The healing of souls and bodies offered by Christ during His Advent was available because of the same. 3) Enoch, as well as Elijah, had faith in God as told in Hebrews 11, and as such shared in an imperfect participation in the yet-to-be-temporally-realized Crucifixion.  Again, any benefit men in the Old Testament received from the Lord was an economia of sorts based on what would happen on Calvary.
David, firstly, as ialmisry points out, this is the "logic" by which the erroneous doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was conceived. What you are basically saying is that God could not forgive sins without Christ bleeding and dying on the Cross, however, sins could be forgiven in anticipation of His bleeding and dying. Why then were the souls of the righteous dead kept in Hades in the millennia before the Harrowing of Hades and not admitted to Paradise in anticipation of the Crucifixion?  Couldn't God forgive them and admit them to Paradise in anticipation of Golgotha like the way you claim He was able to forgive sins on Earth before His death (in anticipation of it)? Secondly, you have diminished the Authority, Dominion and Power of the Almighty God by saying that He cannot forgive sins unless certain conditions are met. The Apostle doesn't think so, because he says: "What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses,  “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy." (Romans 9:14-16) God's Mercy is limitless because God is limitless. God's Love is limitless because God is Love and God is limitless. What you are saying is that certain criteria must be met in order for God to have Mercy and forgive sin- in other words, you are saying that God is not omnipotent, but restricted by factors external to Him. This is heresy. Now the usual Western argument is that the factors are not external to Him because they are His own Justice. And I say: Codswhollop! God is not just.  A "just" God does not make the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike (Matthew 5:45). A 'just" God does not command us to imitate Him by loving our enemies, blessing those who curse us, doing good to those who hate us and praying for those who persecute and abuse us (Matthew 5:44-45). This is what God expects of us, because He Himself does so freely.  A "just" God is not good and kind to evildoers. And most importantly,: A "just" God does not die for sinners while they are still sinners or for the ungodly while they are still ungodly.(Romans 5:6-8 ) Read again, what St Isaac the Syrian says: “Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good’, He says ‘to the evil and to the impious.’ How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? … How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? Where, then, is God’s justice, for while we are sinners Christ died for us!”    (Ascetical Homilies, 51). And concerning the Sacrifice of the Cross, read again what St. Gregory the Theologian says: "Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things." (2nd Oration on Pascha). If he who is one of only two Saints the Church calls "Theologian" says this, who am I to argue with it?
 

David,
St. Gregory the Theologian is not talking about substitutionary atonement.
"Atonement" is just another word for "penal satisfaction".

Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.


Imagine, for a moment that I got caught up in a poker game with a cardshark. As the game continues, I manage to lose all my money, my house and end up owing money that I don't have. Now let's say I have a rich friend who loves me and sees the distress caused by the mess I got myself into playing poker with someone who is much better at it than me. My rich friend decides to help by getting into a poker game with the cardshark himself. My rich friend is not only wealthier than the cardshark, he is also infinitely better at poker than he is, and my friend ends up completely obliterating the cardshark, takes all his winnings, his house, and has him thrown into prison in debt. My friend then distributes the loot from the cardshark among all those he has cheated. Has my wealthy friend made "atonement"? The cardshark is the Death and the Devil, my rich friend is Christ who has redeemed me, not by paying my debt, but by deceiving the deceiver.

And here's the evidence from our Orthodox Hymns for Good Friday:

Today hell cries out groaning: I should not have accepted the Man born of Mary (i.e. "I shouldn't have got into a poker game with Him"). He came and destroyed my power. He shattered the gates of brass. As God, He raised the souls that I had held captive. Glory to Thy cross and resurrection, O Lord.

Today, hell cries out groaning: My dominion has been shattered. I received a dead man as one of the dead, but against Him I could not prevail (i.e. "I was deceived"). From eternity I had ruled the dead, but behold, He raised all. Because of Him do I perish. Glory to Thy cross and resurrection, O Lord.

Today hell cries out groaning: My power has been trampled upon. The Shepherd is crucified and Adam is raised. I have been deprived of those whom I ruled. Those whom I swallowed in my strength I have given up. He Who was crucified has emptied the tombs (ie. "He has taken all my winnings and given them back to those I cheated"). The power of death has been vanquished. Glory to Thy cross and resurrection, O Lord.



 
My whole point is that atonement need not be equated with "penal satisfaction."  Please show me where the two must be synonymous, if I am indeed mistaken.  Atonement, rather, has always been a "making up for that which is lacking," as it were, a supplement to our shortcomings so that we can partake of the presence of God -- not because God couldn't stand for us to be in His presence or because He needs it, but because He's set it up this way for us to be cleansed from sin and death through Life and Love.  Expiation instead of propitiation, in other words.
David, the original meaning of "atonement" is none of what you have described, and I actually have no problem with the original meaning of the word, however I do have a problem with how the word has come to be understood. Look in any dictionary and the first definition of "atonement" is "expiation" ie, "amends made for an injury or a wrong". This is evident from the the use of the verb "to atone". The original meaning of the word "atonement" was actually "harmonising". As I understand, it was first used in the 16th century, and it has an English etymology, literally: "at one-ment" (to cause two or more things to be "at one"). This is an excellent description of our reconciliation to God. However this is not what the word "atonement" means now (as any dictionary will describe). It now means "  Amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong; expiation."  Where did this "alternate" meaning for a word which originally meant "harmonising" come from?
He destroys death, as you say through you cardshark metaphor (which is an excellent one, by the way), but He also finishes His union of our nature with His through His three-day Pascha, which begins on Calvary.  Christ did die for us rather than instead of us--for we must also die with Him to live with Him--yet the Blood He gave when He died is what gives us the life necessary to die correctly.  Christ did reverse the deception, yet He also became sin so that we might become righteousness, thus reversing our nature's fallenness (or "atoning for it") through His life-giving Blood. Let us not make the same mistake that many western Christians make and stress one aspect of salvation -- in our case, beguiling the beguiler -- to the exclusion of other, very real facets of our salvation.  Our nature is renewed -- atoned for, or brought up from its former, crippled state and reconciled to the Father -- by the Blood of Christ.  This is the supreme atonement to which all of the atonement language in the Old Testament alluded.  We can't get around that, nor should we simply dismiss it out of hand, as St. Athanasius shows us (thanks for the quote, ignatius). 
I disagree with your definition of "atoning", and therefore I disagree with your understanding of what Christ's Blood has done for us. Yes, His Blood is the only source of Life for us, but It was not shed to make up what was lacking in our fallen state. You can't drink water from a Rock unless you split it (Numbers 20:11). You can't share a loaf of bread unless it's broken open. You can't drink the Lifegiving Blood of Christ unless He is broken open. Christ was Crucified because the only way His Unfallen Body could die was to be murdered. This was the only way His Human Soul could enter Hades and destroy it. The Cross was the "price He had to pay" in order to undertake His Rescue Mission of us. It was the "sacrifice" He made in the same way that you might "sacrifice" yourself at work every day in order to feed your family. The main point which we seem to miss about the Old Testament Sacrifices is what it meant in an agrarian society. When an holocaust offering was made of one of your cattle, you had to give up something precious. When Abraham our Father in Faith was called to make a Sacrifice, he was asked to sacrifice the most precious thing he had- his only son Isaac. When the Passover Sacrifice was made, it was offered and then shared and eaten. So yes, the Old Testament Sacrifices were a precursor to Golgotha, but your understanding of them is incorrect.
 


Even better yet, why is this even important?
Because Scripture and Tradition existed for one and a half milennia before the word "atonement" was invented by a Protestant Reformer.


Could you define what you mean Substitutionary Atonement or Penal Satisfaction to mean?

"Substitutionary Atonement" means that basically, Christ died "in our place" (ie "was substituted for us") in order to make "Atonement" (whatever that means, since the meaning has changed over time). While the various meanings of "Atonement" is problematic, the idea that Christ died "in our place" or "instead of us" is wrong. He died for us, not instead of us.

"Penal Satisfaction" basically means that a debt (or penalty) is owed to God for sin, (somewhat like a parking fine) which needs to be paid so that the sin can be forgiven. The idea is that Christ paid the fine for us (because we were unable to).

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on December 27, 2009, 03:43:20 PM
So back to my post...

Is St. Athanasius simply wrong?  What the text indicates in the English translation that I am using is that Christ offered his body to the Father.  That's all it says.  Nothing about ransom or satisfaction or anything like that.

If he is correct here, how or why is Christ's body offered to the Father?  Is this question beyond our ability to answer, or is it wrong of the saint to speak as much as to say that Christ's body was offered to the Father?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 27, 2009, 05:10:47 PM
But isn't it Christ's sacrifice on the Cross that defines for Christians the proper understanding of the sacrifices of the Jewish Temple?
Only if you're an Evangelical nutbag.
Or worship Kali.
I think you might either be replying to someone else or totally reading into my post something I never meant to communicate.  I'm pretty certain my posting record on this thread will show that I do not believe in any kind of penal satisfaction theory such as that to which your reply to my post appears to respond.  In the post you quoted, I really said nothing to define the nature of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross per se.  My thought is simply that, regardless of how one understands our Lord's sacrifice, it is this that should enlighten our understanding of the Jewish Temple sacrifices and not vice versa.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 27, 2009, 05:17:28 PM
So back to my post...

Is St. Athanasius simply wrong?  What the text indicates in the English translation that I am using is that Christ offered his body to the Father.  That's all it says.  Nothing about ransom or satisfaction or anything like that.

If he is correct here, how or why is Christ's body offered to the Father?  Is this question beyond our ability to answer, or is it wrong of the saint to speak as much as to say that Christ's body was offered to the Father?
Firstly, you're using a bad translation. Here's the original: http://www.oodegr.com/oode/pateres1/athanasios/enanthrwpisi1.htm
Secondly, you take it out of context. If you read St. Athanasios (for example, in the quote I give above) you will see that he is talking about Christ rescuing us from death by His Death & Resurrection. Of what possible use would Christ's corpse be to the Father? How would this please Him? Christ offers His life in order to Harrow Hades the same way that a soldier "offers" his life to save others- not as a judicial substitution nor as an appeasement of the enemy.
Thirdly, the idea in your earlier post that Christ offered something to satan and death is absurd. God owes satan nothing.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: augustin717 on December 27, 2009, 05:22:13 PM
O my Savior, while as God Thou did voluntarily offer Thyself to the Father as an unslain and living sacrifice, Thou did raise up with Thyself the whole race of Adam, when Thou did rise from the grave.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 27, 2009, 05:25:09 PM
'O my Saviour, the living Victim unsuitable for sacrifice,33 as God offering
yourself willingly to the Father, you raised with yourself all Adam’s race, in
rising from the tomb.'
1.  Where did you find this text?
2.  How do you intend this to relate to the discussion to which you posted this?
3.  What are you trying to communicate?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: augustin717 on December 27, 2009, 05:35:25 PM
You can guess, it is a text well known within our church.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 27, 2009, 05:46:34 PM
You can guess, it is a text well known within our church.
An "unslain" sacrifice, a "Victim unsuitable for sacrifice"....what is the Orthodox Church saying in this?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: augustin717 on December 27, 2009, 05:57:11 PM
"to zon te kai athyton iereion, os theos seauton ekousios prosagagon to patri"
(Paschal Canon)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 27, 2009, 06:06:06 PM
zon te kai athyton iereion
Again I ask: why a "zon te kai athyton" iereion? Why does the Orthodox Church call Christ the "LIVING and UNSLAIN" sacrifice?
And why does the Church also say that He "raised with Himself all Adam’s race in rising from the tomb."?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: augustin717 on December 27, 2009, 06:09:01 PM
zon te kai athyton iereion
Again I ask: why a "zon te kai athyton" iereion? Why does the Orthodox Church call Christ the "LIVING and UNSLAIN" sacrifice?
And why does the Church also say that He "raised with Himself all Adam’s race in rising from the tomb."?
I never thought of this. I was just pointing out that Christ brought himself, in His humanity, I suppose, to the Father.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 27, 2009, 07:07:37 PM
Well, I often asked myself why God wanted the Jews to sacrifice a goat or a cow to Him. I have no idea why, but He did.  Indeed Christ sacrificed Himself to the Father (albeit His sacrifice was eternal and once and for all) as the perfect unblemished Lamb of God. Christ offers Himself (the Living Sacrifice) to the Father on our behalf.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 27, 2009, 09:07:46 PM
You can guess, it is a text well known within our church.
Merely slapping a text from some hymn onto a discussion board without explaining what it is you think the text says offers nothing to the discussion.  And then to have the gall to tell me that I can guess the answers to my questions.  I usually don't like engaging someone in a guessing game when I come expecting to engage someone in an intelligent discussion.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ms.hoorah on December 27, 2009, 09:16:23 PM
^^^Through who sinners have been reconciled --Christmas Canon, 5th Song, Troparion  :-*  :laugh:

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on December 27, 2009, 09:41:28 PM
Firstly, you're using a bad translation. Here's the original: http://www.oodegr.com/oode/pateres1/athanasios/enanthrwpisi1.htm
Secondly, you take it out of context. If you read St. Athanasios (for example, in the quote I give above) you will see that he is talking about Christ rescuing us from death by His Death & Resurrection. Of what possible use would Christ's corpse be to the Father? How would this please Him? Christ offers His life in order to Harrow Hades the same way that a soldier "offers" his life to save others- not as a judicial substitution nor as an appeasement of the enemy.
Thirdly, the idea in your earlier post that Christ offered something to satan and death is absurd. God owes satan nothing.

It's hard to tell if you're being snippy in this reply.  No need to get upset (if you are), I was just confused by the passage as I read it.  Would you mind translating that portion of the text from the Greek for me in a better way, as I cannot read Greek?

Also, I was unaware that it is theologically improper to refer to Christ offering a ransom to death and the Devil.  When trying to separate the Eastern and Western views, I have always been fumbling, and this is just kind of what I ended up with.  You have to try to be understanding and realize that it's difficult to correct your perspective when you've had something beaten into your head a certain way since infancy, especially when it is this nuanced.

So then is the correct Orthodox perspective that Christ's sacrifice was offered to no one?  Is it rather that he assumed death itself in order to conquer it?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 27, 2009, 10:02:32 PM
Thirdly, the idea in your earlier post that Christ offered something to satan and death is absurd. God owes satan nothing.

It was, I believe, a theme in the Holy Fathers, and it persists in Orthodoxy today in what is, I suppose, a legitimate 'theologoumenon" although it has been generally discarded.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Vlad on December 28, 2009, 12:04:10 AM
I am confused when I converted my Priest at the time said that the Divine Liturgy was a sacrifice. So who is this sacrifice offered to if not the Father? Further is this sacrifice in the liturgy to be considered the same way Catholics consider the Mass to be the reenactment of the great sacrifice of Calvary? Blah I am confused by this whole atonement thing. >:(
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 28, 2009, 12:12:08 AM
Fr. Hopko says:

(speaking of the eucharist) "It is strictly understood as being the real presence of Christ, his true body and blood mystically present in the bread and wine which are offered to the Father in his name and consecrated by the Divine Spirit of God."



Post modified to preface a priest's name with his clerical title...  Please remember to give our clergy the respect due their priestly office by using proper titles when you speak of them.  - PtA
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Vlad on December 28, 2009, 01:01:35 AM
Hopko says:

(speaking of the eucharist) "It is strictly understood as being the real presence of Christ, his true body and blood mystically present in the bread and wine which are offered to the Father in his name and consecrated by the Divine Spirit of God."

Ah ha. Thanks for that Ortho cat.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on December 28, 2009, 01:14:13 AM
"It is strictly understood as being the real presence of Christ, his true body and blood mystically present in the bread and wine which are offered to the Father in his name and consecrated by the Divine Spirit of God."

But what does this mean?!?!
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Vlad on December 28, 2009, 01:23:35 AM
"It is strictly understood as being the real presence of Christ, his true body and blood mystically present in the bread and wine which are offered to the Father in his name and consecrated by the Divine Spirit of God."

But what does this mean?!?!

Good question does it mean that the body and blood are offered for sins like in the Catholic Church?

Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Eirr on December 28, 2009, 05:34:29 AM
Christ sacrifice was for God, to accomplish God`s righteouss.It`s the ultimate act wich shows us that God is all-righteous, and a Just Judge, not only this , but All-Loving and All-Mercifull. God could of redeemed us in any way , but He chose to satisfy the Divine Justice. He is Almighty He could of done it in any way.Splendid says the Apostle : God was in Jesus reconciliating the world with Himself.God judged Himself for our sins and took the sins of humanity upon Himself.For He became sin , the one who knew no sins so that we could became sinless through Him.So Jesus' sacrifice was for our atonement, cause "He took all our infirmities and all our inquities , our wicknesses and our sickness upon Himself"(from Esaias, Isaiah 53).It was the sacrifice for the accomplishment of God`s Justice.Cause He took all our sins upon Himself the sins of humanity and the handwritting that was contrary to us in wich all the sins of humanity were accounted and nailed it on the cross.For God DIED , consider this, imagine this , this was the judgement and the offering so it would satisfy the Judgement, he took the sins of humanity and judged Himself for them and Died Himself for all our sins, God Almighty, died for us.This is the sacrifice of great and splendid odure , the sacrifice of Justice.The sacrifice of Christs stands as testimony for God`s justice a testimony for all the prosecutors and the acusors , the Devil and the Angels.
Roman Catholic nonsense.

Why are you offending the little ones with your Romophobia? The atonement and ransom must not be comprehended literally.God did not made a pact or any agreement with Satan or with anyone else, rather He chose to be this way so that His Justice will also accomplish , and to show everyone He is a just Judge.The Offering of Christ was to the Father, to accomplish His Judgement, cause God wich is Perfect, Mercifull and Loving is also Just.This is what many people don`t understand.He could of wash our sins in any way , but then it would not be in harmony with His Justice, and Justice needed to be accomplished aswell, cause God is perfect.Christ was also a "ransom" for grave, for through His death He "re-buyed" us and with His death , He killed death.It`s not a literall ransom , nor any agreement in pact , but this must be understanded like this : By Him dying and descending in Hades, He liberated the souls captive in the abide of the death.So He gave His death so that He could free us the death.Released the souls from Hades and opened the gates of heaven.So Jesus' sacrifice stands as confession for God`s great love towards the world, His mercy , and at the same time His "terrible" justice.

.
Firstly, you're using a bad translation. Here's the original: http://www.oodegr.com/oode/pateres1/athanasios/enanthrwpisi1.htm
Secondly, you take it out of context. If you read St. Athanasios (for example, in the quote I give above) you will see that he is talking about Christ rescuing us from death by His Death & Resurrection. Of what possible use would Christ's corpse be to the Father? How would this please Him? Christ offers His life in order to Harrow Hades the same way that a soldier "offers" his life to save others- not as a judicial substitution nor as an appeasement of the enemy.
Thirdly, the idea in your earlier post that Christ offered something to satan and death is absurd. God owes satan nothing.
It's hard to tell if you're being snippy in this reply.  No need to get upset (if you are), I was just confused by the passage as I read it.  Would you mind translating that portion of the text from the Greek for me in a better way, as I cannot read Greek?

Also, I was unaware that it is theologically improper to refer to Christ offering a ransom to death and the Devil.  When trying to separate the Eastern and Western views, I have always been fumbling, and this is just kind of what I ended up with.  You have to try to be understanding and realize that it's difficult to correct your perspective when you've had something beaten into your head a certain way since infancy, especially when it is this nuanced.

So then is the correct Orthodox perspective that Christ's sacrifice was offered to no one?  Is it rather that he assumed death itself in order to conquer it?

WHOEVER CHANGES THE SUBSTANCE OF THIS POSTS OR DELETES ANYTHING FROM IT, LET IT BE ANATHEMA TO HIM!




(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/Themes/default/images/warnpmod.gif) I have very good reason to suspect that you may be the banned poster Dan-Romania returning under another disguise, so you are now on indefinite post moderation until we can determine for certain that you are someone different.  If you have any questions, please talk with Fr. Chris via private message.

- PeterTheAleut


ADDENDUM:  This poster has been confirmed to be Dan-Romania, who is presently banned from this site.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 28, 2009, 06:04:40 AM
Christ sacrifice was for God, to accomplish God`s righteouss.It`s the ultimate act wich shows us that God is all-righteous, and a Just Judge, not only this , but All-Loving and All-Mercifull. God could of redeemed us in any way , but He chose to satisfy the Divine Justice. He is Almighty He could of done it in any way.Splendid says the Apostle : God was in Jesus reconciliating the world with Himself.God judged Himself for our sins and took the sins of humanity upon Himself.For He became sin , the one who knew no sins so that we could became sinless through Him.So Jesus' sacrifice was for our atonement, cause "He took all our infirmities and all our inquities , our wicknesses and our sickness upon Himself"(from Esaias, Isaiah 53).It was the sacrifice for the accomplishment of God`s Justice.Cause He took all our sins upon Himself the sins of humanity and the handwritting that was contrary to us in wich all the sins of humanity were accounted and nailed it on the cross.For God DIED , consider this, imagine this , this was the judgement and the offering so it would satisfy the Judgement, he took the sins of humanity and judged Himself for them and Died Himself for all our sins, God Almighty, died for us.This is the sacrifice of great and splendid odure , the sacrifice of Justice.The sacrifice of Christs stands as testimony for God`s justice a testimony for all the prosecutors and the acusors , the Devil and the Angels.
Roman Catholic nonsense.

Why are you offending the little ones with your Romophobia? The atonement and ransom must not be comprehended literally.God did not made a pact or any agreement with Satan or with anyone else, rather He chose to be this way so that His Justice will also accomplish , and to show everyone He is a just Judge.The Offering of Christ was to the Father, to accomplish His Judgement, cause God wich is Perfect, Mercifull and Loving is also Just.This is what many people don`t understand.He could of wash our sins in any way , but then it would not be in harmony with His Justice, and Justice needed to be accomplished aswell, cause God is perfect.Christ was also a "ransom" for grave, for through His death He "re-buyed" us and with His death , He killed death.It`s not a literall ransom , nor any agreement in pact , but this must be understanded like this : By Him dying and descending in Hades, He liberated the souls captive in the abide of the death.So He gave His death so that He could free us the death.Released the souls from Hades and opened the gates of heaven.So Jesus' sacrifice stands as confession for God`s great love towards the world, His mercy , and at the same time His "terrible" justice.
Roman Catholic nonsense.
Welcome to the forum anyway. :)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 28, 2009, 06:12:59 AM
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He pay those who arrive at the eleventh hour the exact same wage as those who worked all day (Matthew 20:1-16)?
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He make the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike (Matthew 5:45)?
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He say "I desire Mercy, not sacrifice" (Matthew 9:13)?
Roman Catholic nonsense projects "justice" on to a God Who clearly is not Just. Or more correctly, Who is truly just which means infinitely merciful.
In the human mind, mercy and justice are opposed to one another. In Heaven, they are the same thing.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Eirr on December 28, 2009, 06:14:56 AM
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He pay those who arrive at the eleventh hour the exact same wage as those who worked all day (Matthew 20:1-16)?
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He make the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike (Matthew 5:45)?
If God is "Just" and His "Justice" demands sacrifice for sin, why does He say "I desire Mercy, not sacrifice" (Matthew 9:13)?
Roman Catholic nonsense projects "justice" on to a God Who clearly is not Just.

I did not say God`s Justice needed or needs sacrifice , but Christ`s sacrifice was also according to God`s Justice.Don`t twist my words convert.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 28, 2009, 06:20:40 AM
I did not say God`s Justice needed or needs sacrifice , but Christ`s sacrifice was also according to God`s Justice.
I know that is what you said. And you are wrong. God is not "just".

.Don`t twist my words convert.
I don't have to twist your words. And who is not a convert?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Eirr on December 28, 2009, 06:27:51 AM
The death of Christ was for our redemption and to release us from the grave and death.As someone who you are offending said very good "he assumed death in order to conquer it".Christ`s sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice the last sacrifice of blood, cause as the Law teaches "there is no forgiveness of sins without pooring of blood".Another person who your all-knowing persona offended , reminded a connection between the OT sacrifice and the sacrifice of Christ.Now the blood of Christ has poored and covers everything there is no need of another blood to cover our sins , and we in His blood have redemption from our pooring of blood and through His blood we find grace and mercy at God.

I did not say God`s Justice needed or needs sacrifice , but Christ`s sacrifice was also according to God`s Justice.
I know that is what you said. And you are wrong. God is not "just".

.Don`t twist my words convert.
I don't have to twist your words. And who is not a convert?

God is perfect in all ways.To say God is not just is an heresy, and a blasphemy.Don`t be a pagan.
(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/Themes/default/images/warnban.gif) You had been banned for your post behavior, no matter what identity to try to hide behind.

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Admin
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 28, 2009, 06:32:05 AM
The death of Christ was for our redemption and to release us from the grave and death.As someone who you are offending said very good "he assumed death in order to conquer it".Christ`s sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice the last sacrifice of blood, cause as the Law teaches "there is no forgiveness of sins without pooring of blood".Another person who your all-knowing persona offended , reminded a connection between the OT sacrifice and the sacrifice of Christ.Now the blood of Christ has poored and covers everything there is no need of another blood to cover our sins , and we in His blood have redemption from our pooring of blood and through His blood we find grace and mercy at God.
Roman Catholic nonsense.

God is perfect in all ways.To say God is not just is an heresy, and a blasphemy.Don`t be a pagan.
Is St Isaac the Syrian also a heretic and a pagan? Because he says exactly the same thing as I do:
Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good’, He says ‘to the evil and to the impious.’ How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? … How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? Where, then, is God’s justice, for while we are sinners Christ died for us!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51

Now, which Fathers of the Orthodox Church can you quote to back up your claims? (And note, Thomas Aquinas is not a Father of the Orthodox Church.)
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: sorrowhasnohome on December 28, 2009, 07:38:51 AM
The death of Christ was for our redemption and to release us from the grave and death.As someone who you are offending said very good "he assumed death in order to conquer it".Christ`s sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice the last sacrifice of blood, cause as the Law teaches "there is no forgiveness of sins without pooring of blood".Another person who your all-knowing persona offended , reminded a connection between the OT sacrifice and the sacrifice of Christ.Now the blood of Christ has poored and covers everything there is no need of another blood to cover our sins , and we in His blood have redemption from our pooring of blood and through His blood we find grace and mercy at God.
Roman Catholic nonsense.

God is perfect in all ways.To say God is not just is an heresy, and a blasphemy.Don`t be a pagan.
Is St Isaac the Syrian also a heretic and a pagan? Because he says exactly the same thing as I do:
Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good’, He says ‘to the evil and to the impious.’ How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? … How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? Where, then, is God’s justice, for while we are sinners Christ died for us!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51

Now, which Fathers of the Orthodox Church can you quote to back up your claims? (And note, Thomas Aquinas is not a Father of the Orthodox Church.)


Quoting Isac of Syria is irrelevant as he was suffering of APOKATASTASIS.

Chrysostom (349-407) on Hebrews 9:28. “So Christ was once offered.”: By whom offered? evidently by Himself. Here he says that He is not Priest only, but Victim also, and what is sacrificed. On this account are [the words] “was offered.” “Was once offered” (he says) “to bear the sins of many.” Why “of many,” and not “of all”? Because not all believed, For He died indeed for all, that is His part: for that death was a counterbalance against the destruction of all men. But He did not bear the sins of all men, because they were not willing. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Epistle to the Hebrews, Homly 17.

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466) commenting on Hebrews 9:27-28: As it is appointed for each human being to die once, and the one who accepts death’s decree no longer sins but awaits the examination of what was done in life, so Christ the Lord, after being offered once for us and taking up our sins, will come to us again, with sin no longer in force, that is, with sin no longer occupying a place as far as human beings are concerned. He said himself, remember, when he still had a mortal body, “He committed no sin, nor was guile found in his mouth.” It should be noted, of course, that he bore the sins of many, not of all: not all came to faith, so he removed the sins of the believers only. Robert Charles Hill, Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Vol. 2 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2001), p. 175.

Bede (672/673-735) commenting on 1 John 2:1: The Lord intercedes for us not by words but by his dying compassion, because he took upon himself the sins which he was unwilling to condemn his elect for. On 1 John. Gerald Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament, Vol. XI, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 177.

"[T]he Word, being the Image of the Father and immortal, took the form of the servant, and as man underwent for us death in His flesh, that thereby He might offer Himself for us through death to the Father...Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all". (St. Athanasios the Great, Contra Arianos I.41,60)

"But beyond all this, there was a debt owing which must needs be paid; for, as I said before, all men were due to die. Here, then, is the second reason why the Word dwelt among us, namely that having proved His Godhead by His works, He might offer the sacrifice on behalf of all, surrendering His own temple to death in place of all, to settle man's account with death and free him from the primal transgression. In the same act also He showed Himself mightier than death, displaying His own body incorruptible as the first-fruits of the resurrection." (St. Athanasios the Great, De Incarnatione, 20)

"If Phinees, when he waxed zealous and slew the evil-doer, staved the wrath of God, shall not Jesus, who slew not another, but gave up Himself for a ransom, put away the wrath which is against mankind?...Further; if the lamb under Moses drove the destroyer far away, did not much rather the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, deliver us from our sins? The blood of a silly sheep gave salvation; and shall not the Blood of the Only-begotten much rather save?...Jesus then really suffered for all men; for the Cross was no illusion, otherwise our redemption is an illusion also...These things the Saviour endured, and made peace through the Blood of His Cross, for things in heaven, and things in earth. For we were enemies of God through sin, and God had appointed the sinner to die. There must needs therefore have happened one of two things; either that God, in His truth, should destroy all men, or that in His loving-kindness He should cancel the sentence. But behold the wisdom of God; He preserved both the truth of His sentence, and the exercise of His loving-kindness. Christ took our sins in His body on the tree, that we by His death might die to sin, and live unto righteousness." (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XIII)

"Note carefully in the above the words, "I gave to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for the blood shall make atonement for the soul." He [Moses] says clearly that the blood of the victims slain is a propitiation in the place of human life. And the law about sacrifices suggests that it should be so regarded, if it is carefully considered. For it requires him who is sacrificing always to lay his hands on the head of the victim, and to bear the animal to the priest held by its head, as one offering a sacrifice on behalf of himself. Thus he says in each case: "He shall bring it before the Lord. And he shall lay his hands on the head of the gift." Such is the ritual in every case, no sacrifice is ever brought up otherwise. And so the argument holds that the victims are brought in place of the lives of them who bring them...While then the better, the great and worthy and divine sacrifice was not yet available for men, it was necessary for them by the offering of animals to pay a ransom for their own life, and this was fitly a life that represented their own nature. Thus did the holy men of old, anticipating by the Holy Spirit that a holy victim, dear to God and great, would one day come for men, as the offering for the sins of the world, believing that as prophets they must perform in symbol his sacrifice, and shew forth in type what was yet to be. But when that which was perfect was come, in accordance with the predictions of the prophets, the former sacrifices ceased at once because of the better and true Sacrifice.

"This Sacrifice was the Christ of God, from far distant times foretold as coming to men, to be sacrificed like a sheep for the whole human race. As Isaiah the prophet says of him: "As a sheep he was led to slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before her shearers." And he adds: "He bears our sins and is pained for us; yet we accounted him to be in trouble, and in suffering and in affliction. But he was wounded on account of our sins, and he was made sick on account of our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripe we are healed. ...And the Lord hath given him up for our iniquities ...for he did no sin himself, nor was guile found in his mouth.'' Jeremiah, another Hebrew prophet, speaks similarly in the person of Christ: "I was led as a lamb to the slaughter." John Baptist sets the seal on their predictions at the appearance of our Saviour. For beholding Him, and pointing Him out to those present as the one foretold by the prophets, he cried: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

"Since then according to the witness of the prophets the great and precious ransom has been found for Jews and Greeks alike, the propitiation for the whole world, the life given for the life of all men, the pure offering for every stain and sin, the Lamb of God, the holy sheep dear to God, the Lamb that was foretold, by Whose inspired and mystic teaching all we Gentiles have procured the forgiveness of our former sins, and such Jews as hope in Him are freed from the curse of Moses, daily celebrating His memorial, the remembrance of His Body and Blood, and are admitted to a greater sacrifice than that of the ancient law, we do not reckon it right to fall back upon the first beggarly elements, which are symbols and likenesses but do not contain the truth itself. And any Jews, of course, who have taken refuge in Christ, even if they attend no longer to the ordinances of Moses, but live according to the new covenant, are free from the curse ordained by Moses, for the Lamb of God has surely not only taken on Himself the sin of the world, but also the curse involved in the breach of the commandments of Moses as well. The Lamb of God is made thus both sin and curse—sin for the sinners in the world, and curse for those remaining in all the things written in Moses' law. And so the Apostle says: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us"; and "Him that knew no sin, for our sakes he made sin."For what is there that the Offering for the whole world could not effect, the Life given for the life of sinners, Who was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a lamb to the sacrifice, and all this for us and on our behalf? And this was why those ancient men of God, as they had not yet the reality, held fast to their symbols.

"He then that was alone of those who ever existed, the Word of God, before all worlds, and High Priest of every creature that has mind and reason, separated One of like passions with us, as a sheep or lamb from the human flock, branded on Him all our sins, and fastened on Hirn as well the curse that was adjudged by Moses' law, as Moses foretells: "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." This He suffered "being made a curse for us; and making himself sin for our sakes."And then "He made him sin for our sakes who knew no sin,"and laid on Him all the punishments due to us for our sins, bonds, insults, contumelies, scourging, and shameful blows, and the crowning trophy of the Cross. And after all this when He had offered such a wondrous offering and choice victim to the Father, and sacrificed for the salvation of us all, He delivered a memorial to us to offer to God continually instead of a sacrifice." (Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratio Evangelica, I.10)

"And the Lamb of God not only did this, but was chastised on our behalf, and suffered a penalty He did not owe, but which we owed because of the multitude of our sins; and so He became the cause of the forgiveness of our sins, because He received death for us, and transferred to Himself the scourging, the insults, and the dishonour, which were due to us, and drew down on Himself the apportioned curse, being made a curse for us. And what is that but the price of our souls? And so the oracle says in our person: "By his stripes we were healed," and "The Lord delivered him for our sins," with the result that uniting Himself to us and us to Himself, and appropriating our sufferings, He can say, "I said, Lord, have mercy on me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee." (Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratio Evangelica, X.1)

“A sacrifice was needed to reconcile the Father on high with us and to sanctify us, since we had been soiled by fellowship with the evil one. There had to be a sacrifice which both cleansed and was clean, and a purified, sinless priest…. God overturned the devil through suffering and His Flesh which He offered as a sacrifice to God the Father, as a pure and altogether holy victim – how great is His gift! – and reconciled God to the human race…Since He gave His Blood, which was sinless and therefore guiltless, as a ransom for us who were liable to punishment because of our sins, He redeemed us from our guilt. He forgave us our sins, tore up the record of them on the Cross and delivered us from the devil’s tyranny. The devil was caught by the bait. It was as if he opened his mouth and hastened to pour out for himself our ransom, the Master’s Blood, which was not only guiltless but full of divine power. Then instead of being enriched by it he was strongly bound and made an example in the Cross of Christ. So we were rescued from his slavery and transformed into the kingdom of the Son of God. Before we had been vessels of wrath, but we were made vessels of mercy by Him Who bound the one who was strong compared to us, and seized his goods.” (St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 16, 21, 24, 31)

And I`m sure there are many many more.Confess your foulishness in front of all the people on the forums and stop offending people , because of your lack of faith and your Romophobia.Other than that God Bless you and everyone here.You can ban me now.I will keep coming back everytime I see big offences here,though.You don`t know(the administrators) what you have done, I was exactly what this forum needed ... faith, and I don`t rememmber dear administrators of having impose any sort of death threats to anyone.While I was in the chat room someone started behaving very rasist and calling me names and gypsy and etc of course it made me mad.So other than insults I haven`t done anything of that manner wich is death threats.I urge you very urgently to stop your arogance , here i`m refering essp to some of the converts, and stop making this religion the religion of the pharisees.Be good and kind , respectfull and peacefull with everyone esspecially with those in need of good words , who are thirsty and curious of orthodoxy.Be as Christ, serve the people and help them, share your faith without arrogance , pride and insults.Stop making others feel inferior, rather make yourselves inferior to them , as Christ came to serve not to be served, and everyone in image of Christ must always humble himself and be at the disposal of people, trying to understand everyone.Cause no one has been born teached, and I bet any one of you(us) were(and still are) like those who are not so knowledgable about orthodoxy.This is not a reason to despise them, but the serve their purpose and feed their curiosities.Be good with your brothers and neighbours cause life comes from our neighbour.God bless all on this forum.May God give wisedom to the moderators and administrators and may God bless esspecially the little ones.May God be with you.Happy Holydays and a Happy New Year.

Dan-Romania
(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/Themes/default/images/warnban.gif) You had been banned for your post behavior, no matter what identity to try to hide behind.

+Fr Chris
Admin
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 28, 2009, 09:01:27 AM
The death of Christ was for our redemption and to release us from the grave and death.As someone who you are offending said very good "he assumed death in order to conquer it".Christ`s sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice the last sacrifice of blood, cause as the Law teaches "there is no forgiveness of sins without pooring of blood".Another person who your all-knowing persona offended , reminded a connection between the OT sacrifice and the sacrifice of Christ.Now the blood of Christ has poored and covers everything there is no need of another blood to cover our sins , and we in His blood have redemption from our pooring of blood and through His blood we find grace and mercy at God.
Roman Catholic nonsense.

God is perfect in all ways.To say God is not just is an heresy, and a blasphemy.Don`t be a pagan.
Is St Isaac the Syrian also a heretic and a pagan? Because he says exactly the same thing as I do:
Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good’, He says ‘to the evil and to the impious.’ How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? … How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? Where, then, is God’s justice, for while we are sinners Christ died for us!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51

Now, which Fathers of the Orthodox Church can you quote to back up your claims? (And note, Thomas Aquinas is not a Father of the Orthodox Church.)


Quoting Isac of Syria is irrelevant as he was suffering of APOKATASTASIS.

Chrysostom (349-407) on Hebrews 9:28. “So Christ was once offered.”: By whom offered? evidently by Himself. Here he says that He is not Priest only, but Victim also, and what is sacrificed. On this account are [the words] “was offered.” “Was once offered” (he says) “to bear the sins of many.” Why “of many,” and not “of all”? Because not all believed, For He died indeed for all, that is His part: for that death was a counterbalance against the destruction of all men. But He did not bear the sins of all men, because they were not willing. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Epistle to the Hebrews, Homly 17.

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466) commenting on Hebrews 9:27-28: As it is appointed for each human being to die once, and the one who accepts death’s decree no longer sins but awaits the examination of what was done in life, so Christ the Lord, after being offered once for us and taking up our sins, will come to us again, with sin no longer in force, that is, with sin no longer occupying a place as far as human beings are concerned. He said himself, remember, when he still had a mortal body, “He committed no sin, nor was guile found in his mouth.” It should be noted, of course, that he bore the sins of many, not of all: not all came to faith, so he removed the sins of the believers only. Robert Charles Hill, Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Vol. 2 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2001), p. 175.

Bede (672/673-735) commenting on 1 John 2:1: The Lord intercedes for us not by words but by his dying compassion, because he took upon himself the sins which he was unwilling to condemn his elect for. On 1 John. Gerald Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament, Vol. XI, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 177.

"[T]he Word, being the Image of the Father and immortal, took the form of the servant, and as man underwent for us death in His flesh, that thereby He might offer Himself for us through death to the Father...Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all". (St. Athanasios the Great, Contra Arianos I.41,60)

"But beyond all this, there was a debt owing which must needs be paid; for, as I said before, all men were due to die. Here, then, is the second reason why the Word dwelt among us, namely that having proved His Godhead by His works, He might offer the sacrifice on behalf of all, surrendering His own temple to death in place of all, to settle man's account with death and free him from the primal transgression. In the same act also He showed Himself mightier than death, displaying His own body incorruptible as the first-fruits of the resurrection." (St. Athanasios the Great, De Incarnatione, 20)

"If Phinees, when he waxed zealous and slew the evil-doer, staved the wrath of God, shall not Jesus, who slew not another, but gave up Himself for a ransom, put away the wrath which is against mankind?...Further; if the lamb under Moses drove the destroyer far away, did not much rather the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, deliver us from our sins? The blood of a silly sheep gave salvation; and shall not the Blood of the Only-begotten much rather save?...Jesus then really suffered for all men; for the Cross was no illusion, otherwise our redemption is an illusion also...These things the Saviour endured, and made peace through the Blood of His Cross, for things in heaven, and things in earth. For we were enemies of God through sin, and God had appointed the sinner to die. There must needs therefore have happened one of two things; either that God, in His truth, should destroy all men, or that in His loving-kindness He should cancel the sentence. But behold the wisdom of God; He preserved both the truth of His sentence, and the exercise of His loving-kindness. Christ took our sins in His body on the tree, that we by His death might die to sin, and live unto righteousness." (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XIII)

"Note carefully in the above the words, "I gave to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for the blood shall make atonement for the soul." He [Moses] says clearly that the blood of the victims slain is a propitiation in the place of human life. And the law about sacrifices suggests that it should be so regarded, if it is carefully considered. For it requires him who is sacrificing always to lay his hands on the head of the victim, and to bear the animal to the priest held by its head, as one offering a sacrifice on behalf of himself. Thus he says in each case: "He shall bring it before the Lord. And he shall lay his hands on the head of the gift." Such is the ritual in every case, no sacrifice is ever brought up otherwise. And so the argument holds that the victims are brought in place of the lives of them who bring them...While then the better, the great and worthy and divine sacrifice was not yet available for men, it was necessary for them by the offering of animals to pay a ransom for their own life, and this was fitly a life that represented their own nature. Thus did the holy men of old, anticipating by the Holy Spirit that a holy victim, dear to God and great, would one day come for men, as the offering for the sins of the world, believing that as prophets they must perform in symbol his sacrifice, and shew forth in type what was yet to be. But when that which was perfect was come, in accordance with the predictions of the prophets, the former sacrifices ceased at once because of the better and true Sacrifice.

"This Sacrifice was the Christ of God, from far distant times foretold as coming to men, to be sacrificed like a sheep for the whole human race. As Isaiah the prophet says of him: "As a sheep he was led to slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before her shearers." And he adds: "He bears our sins and is pained for us; yet we accounted him to be in trouble, and in suffering and in affliction. But he was wounded on account of our sins, and he was made sick on account of our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripe we are healed. ...And the Lord hath given him up for our iniquities ...for he did no sin himself, nor was guile found in his mouth.'' Jeremiah, another Hebrew prophet, speaks similarly in the person of Christ: "I was led as a lamb to the slaughter." John Baptist sets the seal on their predictions at the appearance of our Saviour. For beholding Him, and pointing Him out to those present as the one foretold by the prophets, he cried: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

"Since then according to the witness of the prophets the great and precious ransom has been found for Jews and Greeks alike, the propitiation for the whole world, the life given for the life of all men, the pure offering for every stain and sin, the Lamb of God, the holy sheep dear to God, the Lamb that was foretold, by Whose inspired and mystic teaching all we Gentiles have procured the forgiveness of our former sins, and such Jews as hope in Him are freed from the curse of Moses, daily celebrating His memorial, the remembrance of His Body and Blood, and are admitted to a greater sacrifice than that of the ancient law, we do not reckon it right to fall back upon the first beggarly elements, which are symbols and likenesses but do not contain the truth itself. And any Jews, of course, who have taken refuge in Christ, even if they attend no longer to the ordinances of Moses, but live according to the new covenant, are free from the curse ordained by Moses, for the Lamb of God has surely not only taken on Himself the sin of the world, but also the curse involved in the breach of the commandments of Moses as well. The Lamb of God is made thus both sin and curse—sin for the sinners in the world, and curse for those remaining in all the things written in Moses' law. And so the Apostle says: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us"; and "Him that knew no sin, for our sakes he made sin."For what is there that the Offering for the whole world could not effect, the Life given for the life of sinners, Who was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a lamb to the sacrifice, and all this for us and on our behalf? And this was why those ancient men of God, as they had not yet the reality, held fast to their symbols.

"He then that was alone of those who ever existed, the Word of God, before all worlds, and High Priest of every creature that has mind and reason, separated One of like passions with us, as a sheep or lamb from the human flock, branded on Him all our sins, and fastened on Hirn as well the curse that was adjudged by Moses' law, as Moses foretells: "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." This He suffered "being made a curse for us; and making himself sin for our sakes."And then "He made him sin for our sakes who knew no sin,"and laid on Him all the punishments due to us for our sins, bonds, insults, contumelies, scourging, and shameful blows, and the crowning trophy of the Cross. And after all this when He had offered such a wondrous offering and choice victim to the Father, and sacrificed for the salvation of us all, He delivered a memorial to us to offer to God continually instead of a sacrifice." (Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratio Evangelica, I.10)

"And the Lamb of God not only did this, but was chastised on our behalf, and suffered a penalty He did not owe, but which we owed because of the multitude of our sins; and so He became the cause of the forgiveness of our sins, because He received death for us, and transferred to Himself the scourging, the insults, and the dishonour, which were due to us, and drew down on Himself the apportioned curse, being made a curse for us. And what is that but the price of our souls? And so the oracle says in our person: "By his stripes we were healed," and "The Lord delivered him for our sins," with the result that uniting Himself to us and us to Himself, and appropriating our sufferings, He can say, "I said, Lord, have mercy on me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee." (Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratio Evangelica, X.1)

“A sacrifice was needed to reconcile the Father on high with us and to sanctify us, since we had been soiled by fellowship with the evil one. There had to be a sacrifice which both cleansed and was clean, and a purified, sinless priest…. God overturned the devil through suffering and His Flesh which He offered as a sacrifice to God the Father, as a pure and altogether holy victim – how great is His gift! – and reconciled God to the human race…Since He gave His Blood, which was sinless and therefore guiltless, as a ransom for us who were liable to punishment because of our sins, He redeemed us from our guilt. He forgave us our sins, tore up the record of them on the Cross and delivered us from the devil’s tyranny. The devil was caught by the bait. It was as if he opened his mouth and hastened to pour out for himself our ransom, the Master’s Blood, which was not only guiltless but full of divine power. Then instead of being enriched by it he was strongly bound and made an example in the Cross of Christ. So we were rescued from his slavery and transformed into the kingdom of the Son of God. Before we had been vessels of wrath, but we were made vessels of mercy by Him Who bound the one who was strong compared to us, and seized his goods.” (St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 16, 21, 24, 31)

And I`m sure there are many many more.Confess your foulishness in front of all the people on the forums and stop offending people , because of your lack of faith and your Romophobia.Other than that God Bless you and everyone here.You can ban me now.I will keep coming back everytime I see big offences here,though.You don`t know(the administrators) what you have done, I was exactly what this forum needed ... faith, and I don`t rememmber dear administrators of having impose any sort of death threats to anyone.While I was in the chat room someone started behaving very rasist and calling me names and gypsy and etc of course it made me mad.So other than insults I haven`t done anything of that manner wich is death threats.I urge you very urgently to stop your arogance , here i`m refering essp to some of the converts, and stop making this religion the religion of the pharisees.Be good and kind , respectfull and peacefull with everyone esspecially with those in need of good words , who are thirsty and curious of orthodoxy.Be as Christ, serve the people and help them, share your faith without arrogance , pride and insults.Stop making others feel inferior, rather make yourselves inferior to them , as Christ came to serve not to be served, and everyone in image of Christ must always humble himself and be at the disposal of people, trying to understand everyone.Cause no one has been born teached, and I bet any one of you(us) were(and still are) like those who are not so knowledgable about orthodoxy.This is not a reason to despise them, but the serve their purpose and feed their curiosities.Be good with your brothers and neighbours cause life comes from our neighbour.God bless all on this forum.May God give wisedom to the moderators and administrators and may God bless esspecially the little ones.May God be with you.Happy Holydays and a Happy New Year.

Dan-Romania
Could you tell me (before you are banned again) which of the Fathers you quote says that God's "justice" demands a sacrifice for sin?
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: sorrowhasnohome on December 28, 2009, 09:53:33 AM
I have never said that, again.God in His truth, in His justice and in His all-loving chose to die for us on the cross.It was not only an act of love,but also an act of true and divine justice,not of human justice, cause us according to our humanity were to be damned. Read esspecially the quote of Cyrill of Jerusalem.Again the possibility that God`s love and mercy can overcome and be higher than His justice it is another thing  , but God made this beautifull act of mercy and love without breaking His justice.So the sacrifice of Christ was made also according to His justice.For He took and imputed our sins to Himself, so that we through Him would become sin-free.

2Cor5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/Themes/default/images/warnban.gif) You had been banned for your post behavior, no matter what identity to try to hide behind.

+Fr Chris
Admin
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 28, 2009, 10:05:09 AM
I have never said that, again.
Spiffing. So what is your problem? I'm actually arguing against the pagan notion of a sacrifice required to satisfy "divine justice" as does St. Isaac the Syrian who is suggesting the same as me and you tell me that he is a heretic and that I must "confess my foulishness in front of all the people on the forums". So if you don't believe that "divine justice" requires a sacrifice before God will forgive sins, you therefore agree with me, so why must I "confess my foulishness" and you not?
The notion of "divine justice requiring sacrifice" is irrational and insane and breeds irrationality and insanity- which is why I so vehemently oppose it.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on December 28, 2009, 02:29:31 PM
This thread sucks!
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 28, 2009, 03:17:23 PM
This thread sucks!

Opinion noted.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on December 28, 2009, 10:48:10 PM
Firstly, you're using a bad translation. Here's the original: http://www.oodegr.com/oode/pateres1/athanasios/enanthrwpisi1.htm
Secondly, you take it out of context. If you read St. Athanasios (for example, in the quote I give above) you will see that he is talking about Christ rescuing us from death by His Death & Resurrection. Of what possible use would Christ's corpse be to the Father? How would this please Him? Christ offers His life in order to Harrow Hades the same way that a soldier "offers" his life to save others- not as a judicial substitution nor as an appeasement of the enemy.
Thirdly, the idea in your earlier post that Christ offered something to satan and death is absurd. God owes satan nothing.
It's hard to tell if you're being snippy in this reply.  No need to get upset (if you are), I was just confused by the passage as I read it.  Would you mind translating that portion of the text from the Greek for me in a better way, as I cannot read Greek?

Also, I was unaware that it is theologically improper to refer to Christ offering a ransom to death and the Devil.  When trying to separate the Eastern and Western views, I have always been fumbling, and this is just kind of what I ended up with.  You have to try to be understanding and realize that it's difficult to correct your perspective when you've had something beaten into your head a certain way since infancy, especially when it is this nuanced.

So then is the correct Orthodox perspective that Christ's sacrifice was offered to no one?  Is it rather that he assumed death itself in order to conquer it?

George, can you please address my concerns from this post?  I am mainly interested in a translation of that portion of the text if you can give one, and an explanation of how you think that the Son is offered to the Father, or if it even happens at all.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ozgeorge on December 29, 2009, 04:34:08 AM
  I am mainly interested in a translation of that portion of the text if you can give one,
There is just no equivalent anywhere in the text. The eighth section of the first chapter reads:
"For He Who is the bodiless Logos Son of the Father, out of the love and kindness of the Faather for us and for our salvation, deigned to surround Himself in human flesh and be revealed.

and an explanation of how you think that the Son is offered to the Father, or if it even happens at all.
I have actually explained that several times on this thread, so I hope it is a case that you didn't understand what I was saying, and not a case that you just didn't bother to read it (i'm giving you the benefit of the doubt  ;) ) Firstly, I hope I've made myself abundantly clear as to how the Son is definitely not offered to the Father, that is, the Son is not a "required penalty". Have a look at the quote from St. Gregory the Theologian (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11389.msg154658.html#msg154658). St. Gregory says that it was not the Father who held us in bondage because of our sin, therefore Christ was not a bribe to the Father to release us, and that the notion that Christ was a ransom paid to satan who held us in bondage is an outrage. St Gregory asks: "on what principle did the Blood of His only Begotten Son delight the Father, Who would not receive even Isaac when he was being offered by his father, but changed the sacrifice, putting a ram in place of a human victim?" God does not delight in sacrifice, as Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself said: "But go and learn what this means:  ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’[a] For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13) To insist that God desires or demands a sacrifice for sin when He Himself says that He does not is ludicrous. So St. Gregory concludes: "Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him", that is, no sacrifice was required, and St. Gregory continues by explaining what the Father "accepted": "but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things" In other words, the Father accepted the whole of the Incarnation in which our Humanity was sanctified since God had joined it to Himself, and the Incarnate Christ's obedience to the Father in all things, even unto death. The Father accepted the Incarnate Christ's rescue of humanity via the Incarnation, Life, Death and Resurrection.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on December 29, 2009, 04:46:38 AM
I have actually explained that several times on this thread, so I hope it is a case that you didn't understand what I was saying, and not a case that you just didn't bother to read it (i'm giving you the benefit of the doubt  ;) ).

No, no.  You were perfectly clear in addressing these issues numerous times throughout the thread.  I was simply interested in seeing if you thought that the Body of Christ could be offered to the Father in some other way; one outside of the whole "penal satisfaction" sphere altogether.  Since you have basically stated that the translation of Athanasius I have is completely botched on that section, at this point I would just being going off of the aforementioned portion of the anaphora which implies that the sacrifice of Christ is offered "unto Thee (the Father) on behalf of all and for all."

However, you explained your view it very succinctly in the last sentence.  I'm not sure if I agree or disagree at this point, but I think that you are saying that Christ's death was not a sacrifice offered to anyone, but that the event can be correctly referred to as a sacrifice as a metaphor.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: ialmisry on January 03, 2010, 12:14:54 AM
Recently came across a refutation of Vladimir Moss' ravings on this theory, against Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky's and the Dogma of Redemption
http://orthodoxyinfo.org/Moss%20Resolution.pdf
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on April 12, 2010, 11:30:00 PM
Is St Isaac the Syrian also a heretic and a pagan? Because he says exactly the same thing as I do:
Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good’, He says ‘to the evil and to the impious.’ How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? … How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? Where, then, is God’s justice, for while we are sinners Christ died for us!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51

I think I'm beginning to understand that the main issue here surrounds "justice" and whether or not God can forgive freely. I was missing this element before in the debate.

"Does God need blood? Is He bloodthirsty and requires a full stomach of sacrifice to be appeased?"

It would seem obvious that the clear answer is no. However, the Old Testament is full of references to sacrifices sending up a sweet and pleasing aroma to God. Does God have nostrils? No, he does not, but he still asked for burnt offerings.

I am coming back with a quote by St. Ephraim the Syrian:

"O God of mercies Who refreshed Noah, he too refreshed Your mercies. He offered sacrifice and stayed the flood; he presented gifts and received the promise. With prayer and incense he propitiated You: with an oath and with the bow You were gracious to him; so that if the flood should essay to hurt the earth, the bow should stretch itself over against it, to banish it away and hearten the earth. As You have sworn peace so do You maintain it, and let Your bow strive against Your wrath!

Stretch forth Your bow against the flood, for lo! It has lifted up its waves against our walls!

In revelation, Lord! It has been proclaimed, that that lowly blood which Noah sprinkled, wholly restrained Your wrath for all generations; how much mightier then shall be the blood of Your Only Begotten, that the sprinkling of it should restrain our flood! For lo! It was but as mysteries of Him that those lowly sacrifices gained virtue, which Noah offered, and stayed by them Your wrath. Be propitiated by the gift upon my altar, and stay from me the deadly flood. So shall both Your signs bring deliverance, to me Your cross and to Noah Your bow! Your cross shall cleave the sea of waters; Your bow shall stay the flood of rain.
"  - St. Ephraim the Syrian, Nisibene Hymns I: 1-2.

I'm beginning to think that either the nuances of the issue are beyond my ability to grasp intellectually, or that the whole debate is some kind of a constructed war against "Western" theology which is, at its root, not really an issue at all. Aren't all of these explanations as to in what way Christ reconciles us to God only inadequate attempts to conceptualize the unfathomable? Even if we dismiss the notion of his "justice" being appeased, we cannot deny many references to His "wrath" being appeased.

There was division with God and man because of sin, and the Blood of Christ reconciled us to God. How did it do this, and why did it need to be done this way? I don't know that there is an adequate answer to this question.

Most Holy Mother of God, pray for us, that we might understand!
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: jnorm888 on April 13, 2010, 01:27:00 PM
Is St Isaac the Syrian also a heretic and a pagan? Because he says exactly the same thing as I do:
Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good’, He says ‘to the evil and to the impious.’ How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? … How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over all his wealth? Where, then, is God’s justice, for while we are sinners Christ died for us!”    — St. Isaac of Syria, Ascetical Homilies, 51

I think I'm beginning to understand that the main issue here surrounds "justice" and whether or not God can forgive freely. I was missing this element before in the debate.

"Does God need blood? Is He bloodthirsty and requires a full stomach of sacrifice to be appeased?"

It would seem obvious that the clear answer is no. However, the Old Testament is full of references to sacrifices sending up a sweet and pleasing aroma to God. Does God have nostrils? No, he does not, but he still asked for burnt offerings.

I am coming back with a quote by St. Ephraim the Syrian:

"O God of mercies Who refreshed Noah, he too refreshed Your mercies. He offered sacrifice and stayed the flood; he presented gifts and received the promise. With prayer and incense he propitiated You: with an oath and with the bow You were gracious to him; so that if the flood should essay to hurt the earth, the bow should stretch itself over against it, to banish it away and hearten the earth. As You have sworn peace so do You maintain it, and let Your bow strive against Your wrath!

Stretch forth Your bow against the flood, for lo! It has lifted up its waves against our walls!

In revelation, Lord! It has been proclaimed, that that lowly blood which Noah sprinkled, wholly restrained Your wrath for all generations; how much mightier then shall be the blood of Your Only Begotten, that the sprinkling of it should restrain our flood! For lo! It was but as mysteries of Him that those lowly sacrifices gained virtue, which Noah offered, and stayed by them Your wrath. Be propitiated by the gift upon my altar, and stay from me the deadly flood. So shall both Your signs bring deliverance, to me Your cross and to Noah Your bow! Your cross shall cleave the sea of waters; Your bow shall stay the flood of rain.
"  - St. Ephraim the Syrian, Nisibene Hymns I: 1-2.

I'm beginning to think that either the nuances of the issue are beyond my ability to grasp intellectually, or that the whole debate is some kind of a constructed war against "Western" theology which is, at its root, not really an issue at all. Aren't all of these explanations as to in what way Christ reconciles us to God only inadequate attempts to conceptualize the unfathomable? Even if we dismiss the notion of his "justice" being appeased, we cannot deny many references to His "wrath" being appeased.

There was division with God and man because of sin, and the Blood of Christ reconciled us to God. How did it do this, and why did it need to be done this way? I don't know that there is an adequate answer to this question.

Most Holy Mother of God, pray for us, that we might understand!


  The blood of Christ Expiates/cleanses/cleans/destroyes/purify/wash our sin. This is different from appeasement/Propitiation.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 30, 2010, 07:12:59 AM
Augustine says that anything in the Bible that “cannot in a literal sense be attributed either to an upright character or to a pure faith” should be understood as figurative. I'd say the same for the portrayal of penal satisfaction theory in the bible.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Rufus on October 30, 2010, 11:11:56 PM
Augustine says that anything in the Bible that “cannot in a literal sense be attributed either to an upright character or to a pure faith” should be understood as figurative. I'd say the same for the portrayal of penal satisfaction theory in the bible.

Indeed. I think highly opinionated people on both sides of the debate muddle the issue when they equate "a sin-offering to God" with "penal substitution" as such. It really all depends on how you interpret certain phrases. Personally, I think there is a good reason why the Scriptures and our liturgical texts refrain from giving us any detailed "mechanism" of how the expiation on the Cross "works."

In the midst of all this, we must remember that Holy Tradition attributes redemptive power not to the Cross only, but to the entire Incarnation, right up through the Resurrection, the Ascencion, and even the Second Coming. Penal Subtsitution and a literal Satisfaction theory tend to obscure, often deny, the meaning of the entire Incarnation.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: synLeszka on October 31, 2010, 08:11:11 AM
I glanced over the first post in this thread and it cited Lossky as if he were an authority. In reality, the Russian religiophilosophy movement of which Lossky is a represenitive was not and did not claim to be the authorititave voice of Orthodoxy theology.
In my opinion the penal satisifaction theory is a pan-Christian theory. Even Berdiaev writes about how the belief of the Russian peasant trembled before God the Father fearing his retribution and preferred to pray to the Mother of God.
Title: Re: Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...
Post by: Rufus on October 31, 2010, 01:39:02 PM
Even Berdiaev writes about how the belief of the Russian peasant trembled before God the Father fearing his retribution and preferred to pray to the Mother of God.

Like the Publican. My issue is with the assertion that GOd must punish sin, or would rather punish sin, or is unwilling to forgive without punishent (including substitutionary punishment), etc.

In any event, the Protestant teaching of Penal Substitution is not identical to Anselm's Satisfaction Theory, with which some Protestant groups with fundamentalist tendencies take issue. There is also widespread disagereement among Protestants as to what the word "atonement" actually means. So I don't see how it is a pan-Christian theory.
Title: Re: Christ The Lamb Of God
Post by: ozgeorge on August 02, 2012, 07:35:30 AM
Here is what I think and what I have been saying on this forum for 5 years about this (not that anyone listens to me since I am old and a cradle Orthodox!)


The question it asks is: "To whom is the ransom paid?"
It cannot be paid to God, since God was not holding us to ransom because of our sins. We were enslaved to Death and the Devil by our sins, and to say that Christ paid a ransom to death and the Devil to liberate us is ludicrous.

Or, another possibility is that "ransom" is a metaphor, and is not to be taken literally.

St. Gregory the Theologian, Second Oration on Pascha

"To whom was that Blood offered that was shed for us, and why was it shed? I mean the precious and famous Blood of our God and High Priest and Sacrifice. We were detained in bondage by the evil one, sold under sin, and received pleasure in exchange for wickedness. Now, since a ransom belongs only to him who holds in bondage, I ask, to who was this offered and to what cause? If to the evil one, fie upon the outrage! The robber receives ransom, not only from God, but a ransom which consists of God Himself, and as such has an illustrious payment for his tyranny, a payment for whose sake it would have been right for him to have left us alone all together.
But first I ask, how? For it was not by Him (God) that we were being oppressed. And next, on what principle did the Blood of His only Begotten Son delight the Father, Who would not receive even Isaac when he was being offered by his father, but changed the sacrifice, putting a ram in place of a human victim? Is it not evident that the Father accepts Him, but neither asked for Him nor demanded Him; but on account of the Incarnation, and because Humanity must be sanctified by the Humanity of God, that He might deliver us Himself and overcome the tryant, and draw us to Himself by the mediation of His Son, Who also arranged this to the honour of the Father, Whom it is manifest that He obeys in all things."